ECONOMY

Place your bets, but do it legally

The Hellenic Casino Association (HCA) has submitted a set of proposals to the government aimed at combating illegal games of chance played on the Internet or by other electronic means. In line with the official position of the European Casino Association, HCA points out to the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Ministry of Tourism Development that the technological developments of recent years have enabled remote gambling services by means such as the World Wide Web, cellphones, digital television etc. Yet the operating companies based in other countries are not subject to any legislation. According to HCA, the operation of these companies remains outside any form of control, unlike legally licensed casino enterprises which are subject to strict regulatory provisions and the monitoring of the Greek state. HCA is proposing that casino operating companies be allowed, under certain conditions, to extend their permits so that they too can provide remote gambling services. Such an extension would be in harmony with the laws of all EU member states. The association argues that this would discourage illegal providers of such services while at the same time protecting punters and particularly sensitive groups of the population. It would also secure national control over the income of each enterprise and thus safeguard state revenues. The proposed system is fully compatible with the existing legal framework of the EU regarding games of chance. Having adopted the principle of subsidiarity, the European Union has recognized that its member states are responsible for monitoring the gambling market in a way that conforms to the moral, cultural, social and economic particularities of each country. The proposal also bears the signature of most European casino associations.