Where can we bet securely and which are the leading bookmakers in Greece?
Bet365, Novibet and 22Bet are the top betting sites in Greece. From our table below you will learn more about their welcome bonus amount, percentage of sign up promotion, minimum deposit and odds.
Betting has a long tradition in Greece, originating in Greek mythology when the gods drew lots as they split the universe. Since then the pastime has seen peaks and troughs in popularity, corresponding to shifts in the law, and economic crises. Today, gambling is very popular, and punters are increasingly turning to online betting sites to enjoy their time.
Interesting Facts about Betting in Greece
- Greek mythology is full of gambling references. For example, Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades gambled to see who would receive which part of the universe
- There are seven legal casinos throughout Greece
- It is Greek tradition to gamble on New Year’s Eve because otherwise it is believed you will have a bad year
- Lotteries are the most common form of gambling in Greece
- In Greece, online gambling is more popular than offline gambling
- In total, the Greek gambling market is worth over €11 billion
- The illegal gambling scene in Greece is estimated to be worth over €5 billion annually
- To gamble in Greece, you must be at least 23, one of the oldest age minimums in the world
Gambling Legislation and Laws
Gambling legislation in Greece all comes under Law 4002/2011. This states that supervision, regulation, and monitoring of gambling is under the jurisdiction of the Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC).
Gambling is legal in Greece, both online and offline. For offline gambling, punters can only bet inside licensed venues, which is currently limited to the eight casinos in the country. The Greek government treats lotteries and sports betting differently, and this can be done in any OPAP venue. Online gambling is also regulated by Law 4002/2011, which provides licenses to both local and international betting companies.
Competition between Operators
The majority of the betting scene in Greece is under the control of a government monopoly. All offline sports betting and lotteries are under the jurisdiction of OPAP, a government organization that has a monopoly over the market. This monopoly was found to be legal in Greek court, due to the fact that this helps to protect Greeks against problem gambling and unsafe companies.
Like many European countries, Greece held a government monopoly over the online gambling market as well. And like so many of these countries, these laws were contested by the European Union, who found it unlawful to limit international companies. As a result of this, the Greek government opened its online market to international betting sites. These sites can apply for licenses to offer their services to the Greek market. However, they are taxed 30%, which many companies believe is too high. As a result, several companies have chosen to leave the Greek market to avoid taxes, strengthening the monopoly as a result.
Bonuses from Greek Bookmakers
Bookmakers provide many different bonuses and promotions to their customers, to encourage new people to sign up and to continue to use the site. Most sites will offer a relatively similar signup bonus, which provides customers with bet credits or deposit matches, valuing anywhere from €30 to €100. Customers can then use these bonus funds to get started with betting on the site.
Bonuses and promotions for existing customers are a lot more varied between different sites, so if customers are interested in bonuses, they should look around to find a site that offers the best promotions for their style of betting. These promotions can be related to a sport or even a specific match, they might provide increased odds on a specific game, or it might give the user free spins on a casino game. These bonuses tend to change semi-regularly, so there is always something new to look for.
As already mentioned, there are also bonuses specific to Greek customers from certain sites such as Novibet. The flipside to this is that there are other sites that slightly restrict their bonuses and promotions, so that Greek residents may not get all of the same opportunities as other international customers.
Betting Features and Options in the Greek Bookmakers
Greek bookmakers are constantly looking to integrate new features into their sites, in order to provide the best betting experience for punters. Some of these features that can be accessed include:
Available Payment Methods
Greek bookmakers offer a number of different payment methods to punters so that there is a convenient option for everyone. Most sites offer at least a dozen free, immediate ways to deposit and withdraw money, but the most popular include all major bank cards (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro), e-wallets or digital wallets (PayPal, Neteller, Skrill). Some sites also enable users to deposit money using cryptocurrencies, and many sites will also accept bank transfers, although this is often not an instantaneous option. It should be noted that most sites will only accept withdrawals using the same method that money was deposited with.
The deposit and withdrawal minimum is generally €1 for most sites, but punters should research the specific sites that they are interested in, to see if there are different regulations that they should adhere to.
Greece has used the euro (EUR) since it replaced the drachma in 2002. Due to the fact that almost all betting sites accept EUR as a form of currency to bet in, there is no need for punters to exchange their currency when they upload it, they can play immediately, at their convenience.
Mobile Betting in the Greece
Mobile betting is becoming increasingly popular around the globe, and Greece is no exception. Punters love to download betting apps so that they can conveniently bet from wherever they wish, whenever. They are no longer confined to a desktop.
Most reputable betting sites in Greece offer punters a free app to download on either Apple or Android devices. These apps offer all of the benefits of the desktop website but have been redesigned to be used on a smaller, touch screen.
Alternatively, most sites will also offer a mobile version of their desktop site. This does not require downloading and can be accessed from a mobile device. Sites will tailor their content so that it is still functional, but does not require as much data, and is easier to navigate.
Online casinos are legal in Greece, and punters have a number of different choices when it comes to finding the site that is right for them. Punters can access live casino games, casino games such as poker, and online slots.
Leading sports for betting in Greece
Sports betting is very popular in Greece, and here are the most common sports to bet on:
Football is the most popular sport in the world to play, and as a result of that, one of the most popular to bet on. Greece has its own Super League that most reputable sites will offer betting for, but Greeks can also take part in betting on bigger international games and tournaments.
Greece has its own burgeoning basketball league (GBL). Although not as popular or as large as some other countries, it is a source of pride for the Greeks who follow the sport. A number of international sites provide coverage of the GBL, as well as other championships such as the NBA.
Tennis is a very popular sport in Greece, and the third most popular sport to bet on in the world. There are a number of successful Greek tennis players on the international circuit, giving punters a patriotic reason to gamble on the sport. As Greek sports stars climb through the ranks, betting on the sport becomes more popular within the country’s betting community.
The Profile of a Greek Bettor
Although Greek punters are still more likely to bet offline than online, the online sector is growing rapidly. Greek bettors are also spending more and more on the pastime, as the country pulls itself out of its economic depression, and people have more disposable income. Due to the limited number of official casinos in the country, bettors are more likely to engage in sports betting offline, because the regulations are less strict, and more venues can offer these services.
Is online gambling legal in Greece?
Yes, online gambling is legal in Greece, provided punters are gambling through sites that are licensed to offer their services in the country. All types of gambling online are legal, from sports betting to casino-style gambling.
Are there any taxes for Greek players on their winnings?
Yes, punters are taxed on their winnings if they are playing on a site that is licensed to operate in Greece. If punters win less than €100, they are not taxed. If they win between €100 and €500, punters are taxed 15%, and if bettors win any more than €500, they are taxed at a rate of 20%. If punters wish to avoid these taxes, the only way is to play illegally on an unlicensed site.
Can I open an account and play in EUR?
Yes, almost all major betting sites will accept euros as a form of currency to bet with. Punters who are not in Greece are also able to open accounts on Greece-based sites and play on them too, using euros as their chosen form of currency.
Where can I gamble offline?
There are many different places that punters can gamble, in brick and mortar establishments throughout the country. The law states that only official casinos can offer casino bets, and there are currently 8 licensed establishments that can provide these services. Sports betting and lotteries are differently-regulated, and there is a far greater number of establishments that can entertain punters, again throughout the whole country.
How to choose the best betting websites in Greece?
There are a number of different factors that should be considered when trying to find the best betting websites in Greece – some are based on the quality of the site, and some are merely preferential.
Firstly, punters should ensure that the site is licensed to offer services to Greek residents. The Greek government only offers these licenses to companies that are safe and reputable and will not illegally distribute private data. Bettors should know that when they bet with a licensed site, they are legally covered and supported in the event of any unfortunate situations, such as fraud.
Secondly, punters should choose a site based on what it can offer them. Some bettors might only like horse racing or poker. Different sites specialize in different betting styles so that the best website will differ for each person, in terms of the range available. This is also true of the bonuses and promotions available. Punters should choose a site that can offer them maximum bonus opportunities that complement the types and amount of betting they are interested in.
Are there any betting restrictions for players in Greece?
There are not many betting restrictions on Greek players. All forms of gambling are legalized, and there are a number of different companies that offer their services to the Greek population. The only restriction that Greek players face is a limited legal market. A number of international sites have pulled out of Greece due to the relatively high taxes imposed by the government. As a result, punters are limited in terms of the online sites that they can bet legally.
Are bet exchanges legal in Greece?
Currently, betting exchanges such as Betfair are not legal to use in Greece, due to the fact that they do not have a license. This is not because Greece has categorically banned them; it is just not yet licensed and regulated. If a punter wishes to sign up to a betting exchange, they do so at their own risk.
Now that Greece is recovering from their financial crisis, people have more disposable income at hand, and gambling is increasing in popularity again. The government has legalized all forms of betting, yet it is heavily regulated compared to other countries. Although this can be seen as beneficial in terms of safety of punters, it can also mean that bettors are limited in terms of where they can physically bet, and what sites they can turn to online.
As it stands, Greeks have a decent online betting market to play through. All forms of gambling are legalized, and they can choose from Greek sites to larger international ones.
The 30% tax that the government imposes on international sites is part of this problem. Although Greece is willingly providing licenses to overseas bookmakers, many are refusing to enter the Greek market, due to these high costs. This is limiting options for customers, but it is also causing many people to turn to sites that are not licensed, betting illegally. This is a billion-dollar problem for the government and only continues to grow. Although there is no current indication, one might hope that they will reduce their levies, to recoup some of these lost earnings, and to widen the market opportunities for punters.