Which bookmakers are trusted and where to place bets in Greece?
Where to bet safely in Greece and which bookmakers are most trustworthy. Get the answers to these questions in our table below. Compare the terms of the different companies and pick the best one for your play.
Why choose online betting in Greece
Once the civilised world’s centre of democracy and legal enlightenment, the Greeks once looked to the gods Hermes and Pan for gambling luck with some believing Zeus and Poseidon decided the split of the universe on a roll of the dice.
Sadly, after experiencing a severe downturn in the local economy which it never fully recovered from, Greece seems mired in financial problems the state apparently remains unable to resolve. Since receiving two financial bailouts and having faced substantial pressure from the EU, Greece overhauled its gambling laws and abandoned the state’s attempt at establishing a local gambling monopoly. Despite still holding onto an outdated, ineffective gambling act, the EU open market system created an ideal situation to the benefit of local players allowing them to play and bet wherever they wish.
Gambling Facts at a Glance
More than ten centuries ago, the ancient Greeks adopted the Drachma as Greece’s official form of legal tender. However, after Greece joined the EEC, it chose to adopt the euro as the country’s only official currency in 2001.
As of 2019 Greece or the Hellenic Republic has an estimated population just in excess of 11.1 million residents which earns it 85th position on the list of the world’s most populous countries.
According to the European Gambling Commission’s most recent official report, 67% of Greece’s population gambled actively over the past year, placing the country’s number of actively betting citizens at over 7.4 million. An independent report revealed that 45% of the population gambled in the past four weeks.
Located in Athens, the Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC) serves as the Hellenic Republic/Greece’s independent administrative authority responsible for the control, regulation, and enforcement of legal compliance over all aspects of both the land-based and online gambling sectors active within the Greek Territory’s borders.
Licensed gambling products
By virtue of Greece’s Resolution 8/6/25.05.2012 and any approved subsequent revisions thereto the act authorises the HGC to grant and issue certification and licences for the following gambling products:
Types of operators
Greek the gambling act provides for all types of gambling operators in both land-based and online formats including bookmaking, casino, and lottery. However, even in its most recent proposed 2019 revision of the gambling act, it continues its illogical restriction by refusing to issue any licences to legalise any form of local online casino operations
In 2002, during the early development years of online gambling, the Greek state short-sightedly chose to pass an act blindly banning all forms of electronic gaming. The act passed in such haste it even failed to make a distinction between the various different forms of electronic gaming, resulting in kids unable to play Xbox and PlayStation console games at public arcades
Fortunately, in hindsight, it decided to rectify the matter and with the Gambling Act of 2011 legalised online gambling as well as land-based slot machines. In response to the act, 24 gambling operators applied for and received interim licenses while the state made provisions to set up a permanent licencing system. In addition, the state rejected applications from numerous other acclaimed online brands operating successfully throughout the rest of Europe. These companies appealed to the EU, with the news causing concern amongst other EU member countries. In 2013, the EU ruled the state monopoly illegal after which the Greek government agreed to sell its controlling share in OPAP to a private investment company.
However, in 2012, the Greek state still not satisfied with how many times it shot itself in the foot, made a bungling attempt at gaining a government-owned monopoly over gambling in Greece by awarding the exclusive rights for bookmaking in the country to a state-backed entity, the Greek Organisation of Football Prognostics (OPAP). Originally granting exclusivity until 2020 the state later saw fit to extend these rights to 2030, this saw OPAP rise in record time to establish itself as one of the largest bookmakers in the world.
By 2013 OPAP reported a 72% lower profit, blaming their poor performance on the recent loss of their tax-exempt status. In addition, Greek citizens in an attempt to escape the new draconian local taxes on gambling winnings levied against residents, and Greek betting companies legally took their business online to other top licenced betting sites in Europe.
During early January 2019, Greece submitted a revised list of proposed reforms affecting the country’s online gambling market regulations seeking approval from the European Commission. Drawn up in collaboration with the EEEP/HGC (Hellenic Gaming Commission) the revisions to the regulatory system covers table games and sportsbetting but still omits any mention of RNG casino type games, which led to a further round of widespread negative criticism from gambling operators already active in the region.
After enacting Greece’s new gambling law in 2011, the Greek state monopolised Greek betting companies and attempted to impose a mass of restrictions on the gambling activities of its citizens. In each such instance, the EU either intervened or overruled illegal state decisions and rulings, allowing Greece’s residents to enjoy themselves and bet online at any of Europe’s most popular bookmakers.
How to Choose the Right Online Betting Site
Greece’s restrictive law-set legalises online activities for Greek bookmakers, yet refuses admittance to some of the world’s best bookmakers. That leaves the country’s citizens in an EU sanctioned position, thereby allowing them the freedom of betting and playing online at any sportsbook or casino of their choice. This most unexpected and unfortunate attitude of the Greek state also leaves the country’s citizenry exposed to potential exploitation as the state’s position leaves them without any form of recourse should they consider themselves unfairly treated. As such, Grecian players should remain doubly cautious and give careful consideration to the guidelines listed below prior to making any financial commitment at an online venue.
- firstly, we recommend they keep to online gambling entertainment venues with operations registered inside the EU’s tightly regulated region
- ensure their shortlisted choices all hold valid operator’s licences issued by a reputable internationally recognised regulatory authority such as the UKGC, Malta Gaming Authority, Gibraltar Gaming Authority
- ensure their selections all possess an irreproachable record for fairness, safety, security, and customer service excellence
- also check they if offer 24/7 Live Chat service, as well as essential betting tools such as bet builder, bet editing, Live In-Plat betting, a live video streaming service covering all events in real-time, as well as a Cash-out option to assure you stay in control of your bets
- take time to compare their pricing and odds remain in line with others in your market
- check if their available banking options match your current financial banking portfolio
Leading Online Bookmakers in Greece
Greece’s allocation of available licenced online bookmakers becomes virtually irrelevant to the country’s punters, due to the EU’s protective legal umbrella they have the option to start or continue wagering with some of the online world’s best bookmakers freely at their disposal. We discuss some of the brands most preferred throughout the EU below. The two brands with their origins in Russia distinguish themselves by offering a comprehensive range of finance methods, each with an available range of internationally recognised and trusted banking options reaching several hundred.
Founded in the UK, Bet365 is a prime example of the level of success an online sportsbook can attain in record time. The brand gained an impressive amount of traction amongst regular perusers of the online punter world by following a recipe of success so many find exceedingly hard to copy. That included an impressively large selection of sports to bet on all covered by a comprehensively complete range of betting markets and options that for the greater part features excellent pricing with extremely high odds, all of which is backed by impressive customer service standards.
The well-known name SportingBet backs the brand’s large number of world-class land-based betting shops up with an equally imposing online presence. That combines to make it one of the globe’s largest sportsbetting operators. A natural spinoff of the brand’s key position in the industry is its capacity to provide an impressively complete range of sports both the expected popular ones as well as a notably large number of the more niche options at surprisingly good odds.
Bonuses for Greek Players
As with most nations forming part of the EEC, punters based in Greece have access to most of the online world’s best special offers and promotional bonuses, simply because European operators remain the world’s leading force in online innovation. Greek residents can enjoy the full budget-stretching benefits of new signup offers featuring first deposit and first bet percentage matching bonuses paid as Free Bets. Alternatively, existing members of Europe’s leading online bookmakers like William Hill, 1xBet, and 22Bet have an even more impressive array of bonuses available at their convenience. These offer Free Bets as a reload bonus for daily and weekly deposits, weekly special offers paid as Free Bets, Day-of-the-Week deposit reload bonuses, special daily offers and much, much more.
Most Popular Sports to Bet on in Greece
Over the ages, Greece featured prominently at world level in many sports, with football seeing a rapid transformation as of late, as evidenced by its national squad winning the 2004 UEFA Championship. Many of its athletes achieve international stardom in their own disciplines, winning numerous Olympic titles and breaking world and Olympic records to garner the country 146 medals across 15 different sports in the process. However, some sports and its stars simply appeal more and find a greater level of resonance amongst the local populace, appearing listed in their order of betting popularity below.
- Water polo
Are Online Casinos Popular in Greece?
During the first half of 2018 Greeks spent €222.8 million in the country’s 15 regulated brick and mortar casino venues, however, since the country’s gambling laws has a blanket ban on all online casino type games there are no official statistics for the country’s online casino gaming market. However, based on the levels of enthusiasm displayed at the country’s land-based casinos, one could reasonably deduce Greeks remain true to the gambling roots of their ancient gods and display quite high levels of passion toward their casino entertainment in both the online and land-based varieties. This fact is also clearly evident when one considers the increasing number of online casinos and sportsbooks based in and around Europe that fully offer their websites in the Hellenic language
Trivia/Did you know that…
- Stanleybet opened a betting shop in Athens without first obtaining a local licence when the Greek authorities shut it down the EU intervened, allowing the shop to reopen
- in Greece, the legal age for gambling is 21
- operators holding a Greek licence pay 30 – 35% taxes on GGR
- dead broke Greek waiter Archie Karas borrowed $10,000 and hit a “Streak” gambling it into a $17 million fortune
- Greece’s wealthiest man, an art collector, and shipping magnate, Philip Niarchos, is also a prominent racehorse owner and enthusiastic bettor in support of his runners
Available Mobile Apps
With Greek residents free to enjoy themselves at any of the world’s online casinos and online bookmakers, it is important for the country’s residents for us to highlight which betting apps work in Greece. The Greek local market, served by a great range of the online world’s foremost online casinos, benefit from enjoying themselves via some of the industry’s best mobile access solutions. These global leaders in mobile access technologies make a fully comprehensive version of their desktop catering websites available on any latter-day mobile smart device.
The extensive list of features and conveniences include, interfaces fully optimised to provide maximal user-friendliness and innovative controls on the reduced screen real estate of mobiles. Aside from minor navigational menu and control differences, the range of available features remains the same as experienced on their respective full websites. This includes live-streamed feeds of events, Cash out, bet editing, bet building, and numerous other features to provide the best betting experience across their full range of sporting types and betting markets.
Supported Payment Methods
As previously stated, the group of online betting brands discussed in this article offer a truly astounding range of internationally recognised and trusted banking methods and are typically representative of the financing offerings available with most of the leading international brands. Their respective ranges offer banking types and brands encompassing credit/debit cards like Visa, Mastercard, Maestro, and Visa Electron. Indirect payment options include the well-known PayPal and POLi, while they also offer a variety of bank transfers and e-wallets like NETeller and Skrill amongst a veritable smorgasbord of others.
Greek gambling and tax laws impose a variety of taxable percentages on all gambling derived winning earnings, recently revised these range from 15% on winnings between €100 & €500 while winnings above that mark become subject to a 20% tax, while winnings below €100 remain entirely tax-free at all HGC/OPAP sanctioned venues.
How many online operators make their services available in Greece?
Greece’s online market is currently served by over 250 operators of online gambling venues, with many depending on the intervention and fairness of the EU Gambling Commission to continue doing so since Greece amongst many other legally questionable actions imposed a blanket ban on issuing licences to operators of online casinos.
Why can I play slots at one of Greece’s land-based casinos and not at a Greek licenced online casino?
Officially, the Greek state considers RNG type gaming as potentially too addictive to offer these types of games online?
For what period of time is a Greek gaming operator’s license valid?
Under approval of the new draft bill on gambling Greece may offer 5-year licences for operators of online betting sites, while low-stakes gaming machines may receive a 10-year license.
How much money do Greece’s residents spend at unlicensed online gambling venues each year?
The aggregated spend of Greece’s online gambling community has an annual estimated figure of €2 million.
Will online sportsbooks in Greece accept cryptocurrencies as legal tender for financing punter accounts?
Yes, many have readily accepted cryptocurrencies for the past several years.
What odds format do Greek online sportsbooks offer?
What online sportsbook offers the best odds on football?
Due to the dynamic nature of both football and online betting, the correct answer could change from minute to minute and would depend both on the match and the type of event as well as its location. You need to shop comparatively to determine this answer.
Considering the attitude and morally questionable lengths, the Greek state displayed and employed local punters should be grateful for the continued unbiased protection and intervention of the EU Gambling Commission. However, depending on your point of view and despite past incidences, Greece provides many wonderful opportunities for its citizenry to engage in betting and casino activities at a variety of online gambling venues that represent the collective best the online world has to offer. Furthermore, with continued assistance and guidance from the UN Gambling Commission, local laws regulating the Greek gambling market is bound to improve and continue improving!