Greece: the monopoly market

In emerging economies, access to iGaming platforms is greater than it has ever been thanks to factors including the dominance of the internet, industry regulation, and shifting views towards online gambling. On the strength of developing European markets like Bulgaria, Greece, Poland, the Netherlands, the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) projects that iGaming revenues in Europe will increase by 19% in the upcoming years. 

Greece is a reliable market participant, which we will consider in more detail.

Introduction to the Greek market 

Located in Southern Europe, Greece is a country with a population of little under 11 million. The nation's first casinos opened their doors around the turn of the 20th century, and now practically all forms of gambling are legal. However, the development of the gambling sector there has only lately started, as a result of the Greece government being forced to do so due to the challenging economic crisis the country was in a few years ago. 


Over the years, the Greek gambling market has had ups and downs, with internet gambling in particular experiencing the negative effects more so than the other spheres. Since Law No. 3037/2002 introduced a ban on all Internet gambling, online operators have been working in what can only be regarded as a grey market.


The land-based casinos and betting shops, on the other hand, were still open for business and prospering. The Greek Organisation of Football Prognostics (OPAP) had an exclusive control over sports betting, land-based slots, and the nation's lottery by Laws 2206/1996 and 3139/2003, which limited casino gaming to nine licenced brick-and-mortar casinos.


The legalization of online gambling in the country fully took place only in 2011, and now this market segment is completely dominated by the OPAP. Even though this monopoly was declared illegal by the European Court, the company continues to lead the market. 


The current state of the Greek market can be described taking into account two aspects: 

  1. The largest operator of lottery betting and sweepstakes in the country is OPAP. The company operates 35 thousand licensed gaming machines for offline entertainment, and the license only expires in 2030.
  2. The Gambling Supervision and Control Commission oversees the regulation of gambling establishments; the basic rules for the provision of such services are described in Law 4002/2011. Currently, there are a number of legal casinos operating in Greece. All of them are located in resort areas and are aimed at foreign visitors.


Gambling and iGaming

Poker, internet betting, slot machines, and lotteries are all permitted in Greece, according to legislation 4002/2011. However, it is only allowed at authorized venues; violators may face harsh penalties and may even be charged with a crime. Each individual who wants to gamble must have a "personal player card" and be above age of 21.


Licenses are issued by the Gambling Supervision and Control Commission. It consists of 9 members, of which at least half must be replaced every two years.

After gambling became legal again in 2011, all Greek operators wishing to provide their services online must have their own website, with the name ending in “gr.”


After legalization, the state issued 24 temporary licenses to various operators, but soon this project was suspended due to the development of a new licensing system. As a result, today OPAP has a monopoly on the provision of online entertainment, but this situation is to change soon and the market will be open to other operators. The cost of the license for online operators will be about three million euros and will be valid for 5 years. All Greek online casino operators will have to pay a flat tax to the state budget of 35 percent of their income, according to EU requirements.


Greece is also among the first to develop gambling software – Intralot is one of the world’s leading suppliers of integrated gaming systems.

Future projections 

According to Eservices Report 2023 on online gambling, Greece's market development dynamics are favorable and are worth studying.


  • Revenue in the Online Gambling market is projected to reach US$1,475.00m in 2023.
  • Revenue is expected to show an annual growth rate of 4.78%, resulting in a projected market volume of US$1,778.00m by 2027.
  • The Online Sports Betting market has a projected market volume of US$798.20m in 2023.
  • The average revenue per user (ARPU) in the Online Gambling market is projected to amount to US$1.25k in 2023.
  • In the Online Gambling market, the number of users is expected to amount to 1,498.00k users by 2027.


The following graph shows the revenues of licensed iGaming brands broken down by category (Source: Statista Market Insights).

Overall, despite the market for online gambling offering considerable development potential, regulatory frameworks must be implemented to guarantee consumer protection and ethical and transparent business practices. With the authorities hoping to bring in new legislation, other operators, including foreign ones, are looking to move into this market in the not too distant future.