Active players: 3.500.000
Regulated gambling products: Sports betting, horse racing betting, lotteries, casino games, poker
Operator types: Online betting sites & casinos, land-based casinos, land-based betting shops monopoly (OPAP)
Designated authority: Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC)
Greece, a country at the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula and the birthplace of democracy, succeeded in getting out of the recent financial crisis. Within this new stable economic environment, the gambling market has been flourishing, and locals are considered major betting enthusiasts. The Greek government has recently regulated gambling by changing the existing law and providing permanent licenses to all interested operators that met its criteria. Nonetheless, the new law has a negative impact on players, as the newly licensed Greek betting sites have set a progressive tax rate of up to 7.5% on their total winnings that exceed €100. They also require a strict mandatory KYC within a month and, as if that was not enough, betting exchanges are completely prohibited. All of the above have resulted in the increasing flow of players towards international betting sites that offer unlimited opportunities.
Best Greek Betting Sites
The following shortlist contains the best betting sites Greece has to offer. They come with high odds, a wide array of betting markets and diverse payment options.
Betting in Greece - 5 Things to Know
- 1 Players under the age of 21 are not allowed to bet online on licensed operators
- 2 Land-based betting and lottery shops are operated exclusively by OPAP
- 3 At the moment, all licensed betting sites are subject to a 35% GGR tax
- 4 Online gambling is fully regulated by the amendment of the law 4002/2011 since 2021
- 5 Players are subject to a progressive tax of up to 7.5%, if their total winnings exceed €100
Online Betting in Greece: The Law Framework
The first actual steps towards the regulation of online betting in Greece took place in 2011 with the implementation of Law 4002/2011 and the new Remote Gambling Act. The government decided to grant temporary licenses valid for 5 years to 24 operators.
At the same time, the Greek regulatory body, the Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC), issued the first blacklist containing the domains of sportsbooks that weren’t licensed but kept operating within the local market. Eight years later, in October 2019, a new draft bill was voted to signal the end of this transition period and regulate the market.
All potential operators were allowed to apply for a permanent license, initially valid for 7 years, with a cost of €3m for the sportsbook product and €2m for the casino. The licensing process was completed in August 2021, and all betting sites in Greece that met the HGC’s criteria began operations.
At the moment, all legal online brands pay a 35% tax on their gross gambling revenue. In addition, players are burdened with a progressive tax of up to 7.5%, for total net winnings exceeding €100. What’s more, the Gaming Commission keeps on updating its blacklist with unlicensed sportsbooks and plans to ban violators permanently.
However, international bookmakers still accept Greeks, and since the new regulation has severely affected them, an ever-increasing player rate opts for them. They run no risk of fines or imprisonment by the Greek government, and given that they are 18 years old or above, they can freely open an account.
Licensed Greek Bookmakers
More than 20 domestic and international bookmakers operate legally in Greece by holding a permanent license with an initial effect for 7 years and plans for a potential renewal after 2028. The most prominent names of licensed bookmakers in Greece are Bet365, Stoiximan and Pamestoixima.
They offer a wide range of betting options with attractive odds and daily promos; plus, they accept all the popular deposit methods. On top of that, they provide well-organized mobile apps and they feature an interface and customer support in the local language.
International Bookies Accepting Greeks
Apart from the aforementioned Greek betting sites that have acquired a permanent license, many international bookies accept local players. Even though they are unlicensed within the local market, they still operate.
This happens because the HGC doesn’t take strict measures against them, apart from placing their domains on the existing blacklist. Thus, the majority of distinguished offshore bookmakers operate through mirror websites and offer a tax-free betting product, with no limitations on your winnings or a strict KYC time frame.
Essential Info for Greek Bettors
Greek players generally choose to bet on any of the above-mentioned licensed betting sites or land-based shops operated exclusively by OPAP, while others opt for international unlicensed bookies.
However, it is worth noting that the authorities have never taken any legal action against players that prefer to place their bets on Greece betting sites that don’t hold a domestic license. Given that land-based shops are monopolized, the odds they offer are significantly lower compared to those offered by online sportsbooks.
With the new law amendment, player taxes are calculated based on the net winnings per bet. They apply when these surpass €100, beginning from 2.5% and reaching up to 7.5%, if a player’s winnings are over €500.
The legal gambling age in Greece is 21, unlike unlicensed betting sites that even accept players from 18 and above. So, to deter minors from wagering, Greek betting sites ask players to validate their identity by sending a copy of their ID and proof of residence. They must complete the KYC process within a month, or else the account is deactivated.
How to Deposit at Bookmakers in Greece
Betting in Greece comes with a wide range of payment methods for players to fund their accounts. The most common payments are credit/debit cards, instant banking, and Paysafecard, followed by e-wallets such as Skrill, Neteller and PayPal.
Another prevalent method is the Greek payment service provider Viva, which has managed to gain a significant share in the local betting market by offering many solutions like Viva Wallet and Viva Cash. Bear in mind, though, that Viva, and instant banking are not featured on non-licensed bookies.
The Future of Online Betting in Greece
The government recently regulated online gambling in the country, and even though the new regime brought stability, it is estimated that it will affect local players. Licensed Greek betting sites are now subject to a 35% GGR tax, and they were obliged to increase the taxation on their players.
They even apply several measures such as winning limitations per betslip and strict KYC procedures. Indeed, until 2028, the online betting landscape will most likely remain the same. So, a big part of Greek bettors will turn to international non-licensed bookies to benefit from the tax-free product and the more flexible terms and conditions they come with.
The Complete List of Betting Sites in Greece
After examining the domestic gambling landscape and how you can benefit from it, it’s about time to present our full list of international bookmakers accepting Greeks.
Betting in Greece is completely legal and since 2011 it has been regulated with the amendment of the law 4002/2011. All legal online operators have acquired a domestic license valid for an initial period of 7 years.
The legal gambling age in Greece is 21 in licensed land-based shops operated by OPAP and on online sportsbooks operating with a license issued by the HGC. On the other hand, unlicensed betting sites accept players from 18 and above.
Betfair stopped accepting Greek players in 2012 after deciding to withdraw from the local market. It didn’t apply for a permanent license in 2021, as betting exchanges are not allowed. So it is unlikely that they will ever return to the Greek gambling landscape.
At the moment, William Hill is not among the licensed Greek bookmakers and doesn’t operate within the local market. HGC blocks its domain, and this will most probably not change in the foreseeable future.
Pinnacle constitutes another famous international operator that does not have a local license, yet it accepts Greek bettors, and it is considered one of the best betting sites in Greece. Pinnacle is accessible via mirrors due to the fact that HGC blacklists its .com site.
All the blacklisted domains are published on HGC’s website, and there you can find the latest version of the Greece betting sites blacklist.