Gambling in the Early Days
Gambling in Greece started in the ancient period, where people had their own ways of placing wagers. Games were usually based on throwing dice and tossing coins. There are some sources who claim that the game of poker has begun in Ancient Greece, but there is no hard evidence for this claim.
The oldest casino in Greece was reportedly built in Loutraki in the early 20th century. As for the modern casinos, most of them are very luxurious establishments where players can place their bets in a high level of comfort.
Players in Greece can easily access a whole variety of online casinos from foreign operators. It is, however, a sort of grey area, as the Greek regulators and the courts in Europe have placed totally different opinions on the legality of online gambling in Greece. Currently, there are nine active, licensed casinos in Greece. They are all based on the mainland of the country and on the Greek Islands of Syros, Rhodes, and Corfu.
Gambling in Greece is only permitted inside casinos with a license that is valid, it is not allowed in any public space. OPAP (English: Greek Organization of Football Prognostics) had all the power in all forms of gambling since its birth in 1958. Despite all this pressure and the privatization process, OPAP has managed to regain control of all types of casino gambling until 2030.
Gambling Nowadays in Greece
One topic that still produces many heated discussions in Greece is online gambling. The EU constantly accused Greece of corruption and violation of EU law when live gambling is in question. It is clear that online casinos which are operating or planning to enter the Greek gambling market are overwhelmed by regulations.
But, as the interest in gambling is high with Greek players, it could be said that it is worth it. Like mentioned before, gambling has always been extremely popular in Greece, and it is evolving with the emergence and the development of live and mobile gambling.
The regulations have relaxed a little bit, but there are still huge charges by tax policies, so it could be some time before Greek players get a whole variety of operators to choose where to place their bets. At the moment, it seems that foreign operators are most profiting from the large interest, as many international casino brands have already entered the market.