A long list of online gambling websites can no longer be accessed in Greece. In a move that is outraging many Greek online gambling fans, has Greece’s Commission for the Supervision and Control of Games (CSCG) blacklisted 401 websites. Greek Internet service providers will now be expected to bar subscribers from accessing the popular gambling websites. The Bank of Greece has also requested that all financial institutions suspend payments to the blacklisted websites.
Strengthening the OPAP Monopoly
Included in the blacklist are a range of casino, sports betting and poker sites from various European and American online bookmakers. Strengthening its monopoly in the gaming industry, the Greek Organization of Football Prognostics (OPAP) will now be the sole provider of both land-based casinos and online gambling websites in Greece. Websites wishing to offer gambling in the future must receive a license from the Greek government and offer games that do not include a “random number generator”.
History of Corruption in the Gambling Industry
One year ago, the Greek government began to display its blatant corruption in the gaming industry when it struck a controversial deal with Cyprus. At the time, the Mediterranean island nation had banned most forms of gambling. Creating an instant monopoly, Greece and Cyprus reached an agreement that allowed OPAP to operate tax-free land-based casinos. OPAP was also permitted to continue its operation of online sports betting and lottery websites in Cyprus.
Opinion of the European Community
Although both the OPAP monopoly and the website blacklist have been ruled illegal by the Court of Justice of the European Union, the Greek government has continued forward with its restrictions. Owning 34.4 percent of OPAP, it’s not hard to understand why the Greek government is blacklisting the competition. After an earlier restriction on this type of blacklist by the European Commission was lifted, the stage was set for these ridiculous actions by the Greek government to take place.