Recent news about the gambling market in Greece is all dedicated to one major topic: the licensing process, which opens a wide array of opportunities for operators. Panagiotis Skyrlas, Head of Information Security & Compliance - Group DPO at Kaizen Gaming, has provided an overview of the process.
Panagiotis, in your opinion, what changes will the online gaming licensing process in Greece bring to the industry?
The establishment of the online gaming licensing process in Greece will “shake up” the market and introduce new licenses, which will help the evolution and development of the industry. A more equalitarian system is established, whether there is an ex-state monopoly or a new operator in the market. We are now looking to an 18-20-operator market created in Q1 of 2021, covering all gaming verticals.
Do international operators have the opportunity to enter the Greek market?
Yes, the Greek licensing process is “open” to both native and international operators, unlike the previous transitory regime, where a limited number of operators have been operating in the market. Thus, the permanent licensing process is in line with widely accepted European practices.
Will the licensing process influence the online gambling industry’s profit positively?
The licensing process would influence the online gambling industry's profit positively, given that a regulated market with certified providers wins players’ trust and encourages them to participate in online gaming safely. However, the fact that the new regulatory framework includes restrictions, such as the maximum bet and win in RNG games, will definitely decrease the turnover of the operators.
The Greek government has imposed strict conditions on online casinos (which are already much criticized by the industry experts), including a maximum bet on slots of €2 and a €50000 limit for jackpots. How can you comment on them?
The limitation of stakes to €2 per spin is a rule identical to those applied to the video lottery games of OPAP. In other words, most of these restrictions have been applied in order to have a single framework in online and land-based games of chance.
Will the inability of operators to comply with regulations contribute to the growth of the black and grey markets in Greece?
The new Greek regulatory framework provides requirements that need technical implementation and are indeed demanding but not impossible to be applied. The requirements are mostly those we observe in other regulated markets as well. They cover casino game testing, XML reporting, and ISO27001 security requirements. Failure to comply with them may lead to an increase in the black market, which already remains high in Greece.
Read more: Regulations for gambling in Europe