No more back doors or gaming at Net cafes

The Finance Ministry yesterday issued strict instructions regarding the operation of Internet cafes, warning that breaking any rules, such as allowing gambling, will lead to the cafe’s license being suspended for between 10 and 60 days or withdrawn permanently. The license – issued by the municipality – is for a specific number of computers. If the number changes, a new license must be issued. The Internet cafe must be on a building’s ground floor, without any secluded areas. There must also be no second door, except in the case of an emergency exit. There must also be at least two signs stating clearly that «Any gaming and any kind of betting is prohibited.» In September 2002, a court in Thessaloniki ruled that a law banning Internet cafe owners from letting their clients play online computer games, such as online chess, was unconstitutional.