Greece loses big in slot-machine gamble

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) yesterday ordered Greece to pay a fine of more than 3 million euros because it has failed to repeal a law that bans all types of slot machines across the country. The ECJ also ruled that Greece will have to pay a further penalty of 31,536 euros for each day that it fails to change the law so slot machines can be installed in bars and cafes. The law against electronic gambling was passed in 2002. It aimed to stop the use of thousands of slot machines that had sprung up in arcades and cafes across the country, as the government feared they were having a negative impact on small communities. It was then extended to cover all games in public areas apart from those in licensed casinos. In October 2006, the European court found that the law violated certain principles of EU legislation, including the free movement of goods and services.