Gambling Licensing Process In Greece Expert s Opinion
The gambling industry in Greece is entering a new stage now, as the Hellenic Gaming Commission has announced the licenses issuing process.
This topic is much discussed in recent news about the gambling market in the country. Companies have the opportunity to apply for a license and get the right to provide gambling services legally. At the current time, two licensing types are available to applicants: those for sports betting and separate certification for other online gambling-related products.
The online gambling market will improve in all circumstances
According to George Merodoulakis, Managing Partner and CEO at EBGC Ltd, the prognosis about the future of the online gambling market in Greece is unclear. However, the expert is sure that these changes will be for the better under all circumstances.
“The long-awaited "opening" of the Greek online sports betting and gaming market is gathering pace, although the expectations are more moderate than initially thought. For the time being, applications for the new 7-year licenses have been filed by all the interim licensees plus a couple of new companies, one Scandinavian and one from Russia, allegedly Fonbet. In total, there are 19 applications (with at least two companies filling for multiple domains, but we do not know really how many of these domains will get a license in the end),” said Mr. Merodoulakis.
The expert has also commented on the cost of licenses:
“The cost of the application is nominal, therefore even the companies that have decided to leave the market can extend their stay for another three months under filling the application. The license fee, which stands for €5m (€3m for sports betting license and €2m for a gaming license), is deemed to be rather prohibitive for a new company to come into the market, while the rate of GGR tax is the highest in Europe.”
Mr. Merodoulakis has said that this "shake up" of the market and the introduction of the new licenses will help the evolution and development of the industry. However, there are some questions about how the online betting and gaming landscape will evolve.
“There are facts and there are hypotheses. The facts are that four of the incumbent players occupy c. 90% of the market and all the rest of the old incumbents and the new ones will be fighting to steal share from the big ones and try to occupy a portion of the "market", which is, in theory, up for grabs. At the same time, a more equalitarian system, where equal laws will apply to everybody, whether you are an ex-state monopoly or a new fresh face in the market. Overall, the vibes that are coming out of the market following the difficult months of the lockdown are more than encouraging. During the first half of 2020, the total GGR of the online is €232.2m, while the trend is positive for Q3 as well.”
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