The President of the Hellenic Gaming Commission (EEEC), Dimitris Dzanatos, has warned of the dangers posed by black market operators to the regulated Greek gambling sector.
Black market betting companies have been a major talking point across Europe lately with regards to gambling regulation, against a backdrop which has seen many countries initiate legislative changes affecting the industry.
Speaking at the 27th Economist Conference on “Online Gaming: Prospects, Challenges and Responsibility”, Dzanatos emphasised that ‘very large sums are played’ with illegal operators, which has contributed to ‘great financial loss and unfair competition with legal providers’.
A statement from the EEEP added that Dzanatos has called for a more ‘organised and methodical response’ to the black market and the risks it poses to the regulated sector.
He added that “Government, independent authorities and providers must support collaborative actions for safe play and dealing with problems and social impacts.”
This is an objective the EEEP has been pursuing lately. In April this year, the regulator began working with other European gambling authorities on countering the black market via the Gaming Regulators European Forum (GREF).
Greece, like many other European gambling markets, has been embarking on a new era of regulation, having adopted its latest framework for the industry back in 2021, and now has 15 active licence holders.
In an interview with SBC Leaders earlier this year, Betsson’s Greece MD, Thanos Marinos, stated that the country is ‘one of the largest in Europe’ but that he expects there to be ‘more consolidation’ over the coming years as more big players enter the local scene.
Noting the growth of the market himself, Dzanatos remarked: “The online gambling market more than doubled in the five years 2019-2023, reaching €889m from €437m.”
Two years into the adoption of the 2021 framework, Greece is already looking at ushering in reforms to its gambling regulation, specifically relating to casino operations.
As with other European markets though, this appears to be against the backdrop of black market concerns, as has been seen in countries such as the UK, particularly during the two-year long Gambling Act review.