ECONOMY

Gaming Commission seeks to shut down TV quizzes

The Hellenic Gaming Commission (EEEP) has submitted a request to the Finance Ministry for a ban on televised games of chance, aimed at “protecting the public and especially minors and other vulnerable social groups.”

EEEP argues that television quizzes are being abused by certain Greek broadcasters with the aim of extracting money from viewers under false pretenses. The most vulnerable viewers are children and the elderly who spend more time at home watching television, EEEP says.

The commission also notes that certain TV stations are willfully tricking viewers into making repeated calls to telephone services charging exorbitant rates so that they may enter raffles or competitions.

The proposal also cites data from the National Council for Radio and Television, which has received thousands of complaints from viewers regarding televised games of chance.

EEEP warns that the unrestricted broadcast of games of chance on television poses a risk that “competition in the very specific market of games of chance, that is to say, between several operators authorized to run the same games of chance, is liable to have detrimental effects, owing to the fact that those operators would be led to compete with each other in inventiveness to make what they offer more attractive than what their competitors offer, and thereby to increase consumers’ expenditure on gaming and the risks of their addiction” (European Court of Justice, C-390/12 – Pfleger and Others, April 30, 2014).

A number of Greek broadcasters air televised games of chance and competitions as part of their day-time programs.