Casino Licence in Greece: an Excellent Choice for Running a Business
In 2020, all types of gambling entertainment in offline and virtual formats were legalised in this country. That is why many foreign investors started working in the market, which is growing rapidly.
Law No. 4635/2019 on the legalisation of gambling in Greece was adopted in the autumn of 2019 but the industry started working to the full extent only a year later.
Until 2020, the country had an inconsistent regulation of the niche. On the one hand, all offline and virtual entertainment was legalised, and on the other hand, the government monopolised the issuance of permits.
In fact, casino licensing in Greece was only available to a few local operators, and foreign investors could not perform their activities.
The situation changed on September 11, 2020, when the HGC started to accept independent applications for business licensing. Those entrepreneurs who worked under temporary licences in 2017–2019 received the right to extend the document.
The Greek Organisation for Football Forecasting remained a monopolist (until 2030) in the lottery niche and the field of offline betting shops. Businessmen, in turn, can launch gaming sites, online sweepstakes, poker rooms or virtual bookmaker’s offices.
Law No. 4635/2019 imposed a number of restrictions on casino marketing, for example:
- advertising should not attract the attention of minors and gambling addicts;
- it is prohibited to create a positive image of the industry;
- it is not allowed to mention an ability to win big prizes.
A local permit has the following advantages:
Positive business environment
According to the published HGC report, at the end of 2020, the gambling industry grew by 1.3 billion euros or 20%.
The local market is one of the fastest-growing in the EU, which attracts investors from all over the globe.
The country has defeated corruption, and unemployment comes down. The world’s leading IT corporations open offices in Athens and other cities
All types of gambling are considered legal
The new legislation makes it possible to provide betting and casino services at the same time. Entrepreneurs get multiple income streams, as well as great opportunities to scale their business
Long validity period
The licence is valid for 7 years. After that, you can automatically extend the validity period for another 3 years
No annual contributions
Entrepreneurs pay for the company registration only once. The legislation does not provide for additional fees, contributions, and other hidden costs
At the beginning of 2021, more than 25 online casinos with a local licence were presented on the market.
The gambling sector remains quite young but at the same time, incredibly promising. The competition here is not as high as in other EU countries
In order to provide gambling services, businessmen need to fulfil several requirements:
- Register a legal entity. Founders and the company’s management team must have no criminal record, no debts to banks, tax authorities or other creditors. By opening a representative office, the EU resident can buy the Greek casino licence.
- Form the authorised capital. Its minimum amount is 200 thousand euros. The money must be kept in a separate bank account.
- Pay the bank guarantee of 100 thousand euros. Such a deposit is a guarantee of the operator's solvency and an ability to pay big winnings. Funds are placed into a bank account in Greece or another EU country.
- Prepare the premises. Before obtaining a local permit, entrepreneurs must pass the certification of premises. The regulator allows businessmen to place casinos both in separate premises and hotels. It is also possible to open gambling clubs on ships that make domestic and international tourist voyages.
- Pass the certification of equipment and software. Operators can obtain the Greek licence only after a comprehensive audit of their activities. It is carried out by the HGC. For each unit of equipment, it is necessary to provide information on the manufacturer, country, release date, updates, and modifications.
- Connect the software to the state online system. The service monitors the activities of operators, including the observance of the principles of responsible gambling and timely payment of taxes.
The local permit is issued only if the servers of companies are located in the country. Besides, you need to provide a website layout, a hosting lease agreementб and registration of the website with the .gr domain name.
Casino owners should also provide the regulator with such information as:
- a description of all games (slot machines, cards, bingo, video poker) that will be offered on the gaming site;
- data on the verification system of casino visitors (people under the age of 21 are not allowed to gamble);
- maximum and minimum limits (according to the law, the maximum bet per spin or round is limited to 2 euros);
- description of the system of progressive jackpots (the size of the maximum prize is 70 thousand euros).
Before establishing a casino business, you need to:
- pay a fee of 2 million euros for a turnkey casino and 3 million euros for online bookmaker’s offices;
- pay a registration fee of 10 thousand euros.
The permit is valid for 7 years with the subsequent extension for another 3 years.
It is worth remembering that the state fee is paid only once ― at the time of application filing. There are no other contributions during the validity period of the document.
Gambling brands pay an income tax of 35%. The tax base is calculated as the sum of all bets of clients minus their prizes. Moreover, businessmen must withhold income tax on prizes. The first 100 euros are exempt from tax, and after that, there is a fixed rate.
Cooperation with our company is beneficial for the following reasons:
- wide choice ― from the rent of software and the creation of a website from scratch;
- connection of certified software from the best vendors in the industry;
- access to effective marketing tools for the quick attraction and retention of customers;
- legal support, including assistance with business registration and licensing.
- It is beneficial to work in Greece due to low competition in the industry, long validity period of the permit, one-time payment for the permit, and no hidden costs.
- It is worth remembering that sports betting and land-based lotteries are under the control of the local monopolist.
- To obtain a licence, it is necessary to register a legal entity in Greece, form an authorised capital, and undergo the certification of premises, equipment, and software components.
Become the owner of a profitable iGaming project already today!
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