BUSINESS

Illegal betting worth 5.5-6 billion euros

An estimated 60,000 to 100,000 illegal gaming machines contribute to the country’s illegitimate gambling industry, which is believed to be worth some 5.5 to 6 billion euros, according to the president of gaming regulator EEEP, Evgenios Giannakopoulos.

Responding to questions from a parliamentary committee on Thursday, Giannakopoulos added that a large part of the above activity could be combated with gaming firm OPAP’s entrance into this market, expected to take place by the end of the year.

The EEEP head stated that low-income punters represent the driving force behind illegal gambling. Most people who visit locations with illegal games usually have a low income and low to moderate education levels, while many are addicted to gambling.

On online gambling, Giannakopoulos said that until an international tender is conducted for licenses to be distributed, Greece will remain in a transitional stage. Today 24 companies adhere to Greek law, but there also are 438 websites blocked to users in Greece.

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