Greece launches new consultation on iGaming rules

The Hellenic Gaming Commission has launched a second consultation on its proposed online gambling regulations, giving the industry a window of just 10 days in which to submit comments.


The Hellenic Gaming Commission (EEEP) has given the industry just 10 days to respond to its proposed online gambling regulations after publishing an updated list of rules. The updated draft rules include a number of amendments to the

earlier set of regulationsthat were circulated for consultation in September and October. The regulator is now inviting comment from the gaming industry and other interested parties, though the consultation period closes on January 25. The regulations cover sports betting and table games, with random number generated casino games stillcontroversially omitted. Among the rules under consultation are responsible gambling controls, with the EEEP proposing a range of player protection measures. Licensees will be required to feature responsible gambling information on all pages of their website, as well as offering players the ability for players to set wagering limits. Operators will also be required to intervene by restricting players' accounts if a customer displays signs of problem gambling. Players will also have the option self-exclude online gambling either temporarily or permanently, with licensed operators required to check whether any new customers are listed on a national self-exclusion database before allowing them to gamble. Licensees will also have the ability to exclude player from gambling, should they have a valid reason for doing so. Operators will be required to follow guidelines set by the EEEP for the self-exclusion process. The EEEP has also moved to address concerns related to advertising and online gambling, setting out a number of rules for operators to follow. Licensees must avoid any malicious or offensive graphics and sounds in ads on their websites, while adverts should not block or overshadow the gaming area. All adverts must be consistent with the terms and conditions of the game that they are promoting, while the EEEP has also made clear that ads should not target players who have been excluded from gambling. In relation to advertising, all licensees must seek permission to use the images of any sports players in their adverts. Should operators breach any of the rules, the EEEP could move to suspend their licence. Meanwhile, the updated list of regulations also set out measures regarding bonus features in games. The EEP said that unless advertised differently, bonus games should subject to the same theoretical paytable as all other games. Operators will also be required to clearly set out the rules of bonus games to players, displaying how much a player can win and the range of features that are included in the game. If players are required to collect a certain amount of symbols to trigger a bonus game, the licensee must make this clear. Consumers should also be made aware of how many games they have to play to secure the bonus offered, if the promotion includes multiple rounds. Other measures set out by the EEEP include a requirement for all operators to have in place a central information system, intermediate control system and gateway control technology as part of their security set-up. In addition the online gaming system must have the ability to detect the physical location of a player to ensure that they are situated in Greece. The EEEP is yet to confirm when the new regulations will come into effect. The expanded regulations follow a similar consultation launched in September last year, which set out costs associated with securing a licence in the country. Companies seeking a online gaming and sports betting licences will face a fee of €5m (£4.4m/$5.7m). An individual sports betting licence will be priced at €4m, with operators having to pay an extra €1m to also offer igaming services. Operators will also have to put up a €500,000 guarantee as part of their application, must hold a licence in another European Union country. However, companies that have been blacklisted in Greece within the past 12 months will not be considered for a new licence. The new licences will run for five years, with operators required to renew their certification at least one year before the expiry date.Image: Big Albert