Greece started to regulate its gambling legislation in 2001. But that law hadn't distinguish online gambling, land-based casinos, online slots, poker and other games of chance.
In 2011, a new, more streamlined law was passed. Its distinctive features were disengagement of land-based casinos and online gambling. Also according to the law, operators who wished to work in Greece were to be issued gaming licenses. In general, it was a standard practice for Europe at that time.
24 temporary licenses had been issued to the largest online gambling operators. But in 2012 the Greek government began to conduct other policy - to promote the state-owned operator OPAP. By the end of 2012, all 24 temporary license holders were notified that their activities have been ended on the territory of Greece.
Thus the way for OPAP was opening, by that time it had become a monopolist in the brick-and-mortgage segment of the gambling business in Greece. Someone left the market (the majority), but some operators remained hoping for the best.
In early 2013 CJEU (Court of Justice of the European Union) found the OPAP monopoly illegal and obliged the government of Greece not to prevent other foreign companies to operate in the Greek market. Instead, the Greek government said that "games with a random number generator were cause to a dangerous addiction." Given the OPAP monopoly this statement looked disingenuous.
However, it hasn't helped OPAP. The fall of the online gambling market in Greece amounted to more than 70%. Currently more than 900 online gambling (poker, sportsbooks and casinos) sites are in the "black list of Greece". It is believed that to the end of 2016 OPAP would continue to show double-digit drop in profits. Nevertheless, the Greek government has allowed foreign operators to work in its market having forced them to pay 35% of the gambling revenue.
Bitcoin online gambling in Greece
There are no clear laws regulating Bitcoin gambling in Greece at the moment. But they are planned to appear. However, some Bitcoin online casinos accept Greek players. Turnover of Bitcoins in Greece takes place mainly online. The Greek Bitcoin owners change them, sell on the most popular internet auctions sites, Bitcoin exchange platforms. As for Bitcoin gambling, here OPAP is the main as well. The state-owned company has an absolute monopoly in the gaming industry, including Bitcoins.
Below we provided three the best, in our opinion, poker rooms in Greece. We would like to draw your attention to the fact that these poker rooms are not blocked in Greece (which is a rarity!).
This is the leader of iPoker network. William Hill brand itself does not need any advertising - it is the oldest British bookmaker with a great reputation. Also in WH you will find first deposit bonus of €1,250 and a direct rakeback. The poker room supports Holdem Manager and PokerTracker. iPoker network has quite an active traffic, there are a lot of play up to NL1k, where tables are played several times a day. Also there is option of Fast Poker. PLO is played as well, but its activity is lower than at NLH tables. As for the software, after the recent update from Playtech, the software has become faster and less problematic. In general, a brief conclusion is: William Hill is specific room for the advanced player who looks for action and wish to have additional income from bonuses and rakeback. It may be difficult for beginners to play in iPoker Network.
During its existence Cristal Poker had become known and recognized brand. After Enet network had closed, Cristal Poker has not lost, it has revived with renewed vigor. 200% bonus up to €1000 and a special offer that can be found by contacting us are available for the players. Cristal Poker Software isn't functional widely, but it has necessary set for a comfortable game. Cristal Poker doesn't support Holdem Manager and Poker Tracker. Traffic has good density at limits up to NLH/PLO200. There is a play at higher limits but it have to be looked and waited for. But an excellent Chinese Poker is available 24/7!
Originally Tonybet Poker was conceived as a room for the Chinese open poker (OFC), but over time NLH, PLO and even rakeback have been added! First deposit bonus of 100% up to 500 EUR is available. It is paid by parts: EUR 10 per every EUR 40 of rake. Time for wagering is 60 days. Number of players at the level of 300-500 people. The main game takes place in NLH up to NL200, in PLO up to PL500. The game takes place at higher limits as well but it happens rarely. A play always takes place in OFC! By the way, the majority of players at the classic poker tables are from OFC, so that the level of play is not high! Tonybet Poker is an ideal variant for beginners, and for fans of OFC it had virtually no alternatives!