Greek Regulator Calls For Black Market Clampdown

March 13, 2024
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The Hellenic Gaming Commission of Greece has published data on illegal gaming during the 2023 calendar year, calling for cohesive government action against the black market. 
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The Hellenic Gaming Commission (EEEP) of Greece has published data on illegal gaming during the 2023 calendar year, calling for cohesive government action against the black market.

The data was used by the regulator’s chairman, Dimitris Dzanatos, to highlight his concern for lost revenue to the black market and growing youth involvement in gambling. 

The data came from a survey of 5,800 people conducted by KAPA Research. According to the press release from EEEP, it found that 10.4 percent of Greeks participated in illegal games of chance in the observed 12-month period.

The regulator extrapolated the data from the sample to calculate that €1.7bn had been spent on illegal bets, €1bn online and €700m on land. 

The results were first released in Athens at the anti-illegal betting conference, in a presentation given by the head of the general directorate of supervision and operational operations at the EEEP, Dimitrios Papadopoulos.

Dzanatos gave a follow-up presentation that was published alongside the press release where he took the opportunity to invoke another Greek, Euclid, when he called for finding a “golden ratio” between tough regulations and channellising players away from the black market. 

“Excessive prohibitions inflate illegal activity. Excessive ‘relaxation’ intensifies the negative social effects. A ‘golden ratio’ is required which is never something easy. The Greek state and the EEEP are trying to identify and achieve this balance point.”

Dzanatos went on to point out that the EEEP believes that “the phenomenon will grow exponentially” as internet and technology use naturally progresses.

“Distracting actions are aspirin and do not cure the problem,” he said.

He asked for stable partnerships from  prosecuting authorities, supervisors of the credit system, agencies and legitimate providers.

He went on to call for the support of the Ministry of National Affairs of Economy and Finance “for legislative and regulatory arrangements”, as well as the Ministries of Citizen Protection and Justice. The Bank of Greece and anti-money laundering authorities were also named.

Dzanatos made similar comments at a roundtable in Athens back in October. At the time, he asked Greek authorities to help stop revenue loss to illegal gambling, saying it cost both society and the economy.

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