Greece’s Online Gaming Market Adds New Players as Expansion Continues
The online gaming market in Greece is picking up a couple of new names. It’s good news for consumers, as they will now have more options to choose from as the industry continues to grow.
Greece may not have the largest footprint among European countries, but gambling plays a significant role in its economy. While there was once a monopoly, it is opening up and allowing new operators to enter.
Twenty-four operators previously received licenses to offer their platforms in Greece, according to the gaming regulator. That number is expanding through the addition of two more companies that are arriving in 2023.
Spinomenal, Relax Gaming Land In Greece
At the beginning of the week, the HGC approved Spinomenal for a manufacturer’s license in the country. This means the company can now legally work with approved gaming operators currently live or planning on going live.
The iGaming content and solutions provider offers an array of options for the industry. In addition to its online slot titles, it also provides casino management tools, an aggregator, lottery terminals, and more.
Spinomenal is already live in Romania and Malta, and its Panda Bluemoon and SubTech brands received approval in 2022 to enter the UK market. In addition, it has reportedly received certification from several other countries, including Spain, the Netherlands, Sweden, Colombia, South Africa, and more.
Relax Gaming also received approval from the HGC this week. The company is behind a number of top slot titles, including Money Train 3, Temple Tumble 2 Dream Drop, and more. These are part of a library that includes more than 4,000 games.
With its new iGaming supplier license, Relax will now be able to deliver that entire portfolio to Greece’s licensed gaming operators. It is reportedly working on setting up partnerships and could have at least one deal in place before the end of the first quarter.
Coming Back to Reality
Greece banned all forms of online gambling in 2002 in an attempt to weed out organized crime, but repeated economic turmoil forced it to reconsider its stance. In 2011, Greece reversed course and began offering temporary iGaming licenses.
It didn’t take long for operators to jump in, but they soon came to a stark realization. OPAP, the state-run gaming and lottery company, was dominating the market and essentially preventing competition.
Within a year, many operators left. Greece then learned that relying on a monopoly wasn’t a smart move, as the country only earned €60,000 (US$64,488) in tax revenue from 2013 to 2016.
That led to another legislative change, and in July 2021, the HGC approved permanent licenses for 15 iGaming operators. The costs are high, with online casino licenses costing €2 million (US$2.15 million). But the industry continues to grow.
That growth is receiving help from the HGC, which is cracking down on offshore operations. By late last year, it had forced 509 new online operators onto its blacklist of illegal sites. That brought the total to 3,305 in less than two years.
As the black market segment continues to face challenges, the legal segment will be able to grow. Stakelogic entered Greece at the end of 2022 through a partnership with BetShop, and 2023 will see significant maturation of the market.