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Gambling in Greece

Greek Gaming Law Information

Gambling is legal in Greece, which welcomes millions of tourists every year. Several resorts on the Aegean Coast have casinos, while one Greek cruise line offers a casino experience. There is also one horsetrack on the Greek mainland.

Greece is home to some of the great monuments of civilization. Tourists from all over the world flock to Athens to see the Acropolis and its attendant ruins like the Parthenon, or simply bask in the setting that inspired both democracy, western philosophy and western drama. Combined with the welcoming climate of Greece, the ancient hellenic monuments make Greece and especially the Aegean coast a resort capital.

Modern Greek History

The Greek Republic is almost 200 years old, having gained independence from the Ottoman Turks in the 1820's. The next fifty years saw the Greek government heavily influenced by the Great Powers of Europe, which saw to the installation of a monarch with ties to German royalty. In 1877, the Greeks were able to limit the powers of their monarch, though it would be over another generation before the Greeks began to assert themselves in foreign policy.

This came in 1912 and 1913, when the Balkan republics formed an alliance to oust the Ottoman Empire from Europe altogether. This was largely successful, though the Balkan republics soon fell out over territorial claims on the former Turkish provinces, increasing the Balkan rivalry of Germany, Austria and Russia that led to World War I.

Like all of Europe, Greece would deal with the consequences of the First and Second World Wars over the next several generations. After 1945, Greek communists threatened to take control of the Republic, but western money investment and Greek patriots combined to maintain democracy in their homeland. In the years after the end of the Cold War, the Greeks have been able to turn their attention to purely domestic politics.

One issue on the table is that of legalized gambling, as well as how online gambling will be regulated.

The 2002 Gambling Ban Controversy

Greek lawmakers tried to ban illicit gambling via electronic devices in 2002. The law was written too broadly, though, and the Greek Supreme Court struck down the law. A controversy began wherein all electronic games were banned in Greece, which offended many ordinary Greek citizens. Other European states considered filing suit against the Greek government for damaging various international gaming interests. Because of the actions of the Greek court, this never came to pass.

The 2002 incident underscores the ambivalent attitude that many Greeks have towards gambling. While the resort and tourism industry is quiet widespread in Greece, casino gaming is not that widespread as of yet.

Casino Gambling in Greece

The Greeks have 9 different land-based casinos located throughout the country. Each of these is in a different city altogether. The casino with the greatest variety of games is the Club Hotel Casino Loutraki, while the smallest casino in Greece is Casino Achilleon.

Casinos in Greece

Casino Achilleon (Corfu) - Casino Achilleon has no gaming machines, but does offer 16 gaming tables. These table sit blackjack and roulette players.

Club Hotel Casino Loutraki (Loutraki) - This is a sizable casino even by American standards, with 1,000 slots and video poker machines. Loutraki also has 95 game tables, which features games of craps, blackjack, baccarat, American roulette, European roulette, Punto Banco and Chemin de Fer. The number to reach Casino Loutraki is +30 274 406 5501, while their website address is www.casinoloutraki.gr.

Mont Parnes Casino Resort (Parnes) - Mont Parnes has over 700 game machines, along with 70 table games. These games include Poker, blackjack, punto banco and roulette. The contact number for Mont Parnes Casino is +30 10 246 9111.

Casino Rio & Porto Rio Hotel (Port Rio) - Casino Rio has 40 table games and 80 slot machines. The table games offered are blackjack, baccarat, American roulette and French roulette. Their contact information is +30 2610 993 997.

Casino Rhodes S.A. (Rhodes) - Casino Rhodes offers 310 gaming machines, including video poker. This casino also offers 34 game tables, with games of blackjack, roulette, caribbean stud poker and mini-punto banco offered. The phone number for Casino Rhodes S.A. is +30 224 109 7500.

Casino Porto Carras Sithonia Hotel (Sithonia) - Sithonia Casino offers 425 slots and video poker machines, as well as american roulette, blackjack and caribbean stud poker at their tables. The contact number at Casino Porto Carras is +30 375 713 81.

Casino Syros (Syros) - Casino Syros has 25 gaming tables, with craps, blackjack, roulette and Caribbean stud poker offered. The casino also has 186 gaming machines on their casino floor. Contact Casino Syros at +30 2810 444 00.

Regency Casino Thessaloniki (Thessaloniki) - Regency Casino is another large gambling house, with over 900 slots and video poker machines and over 85 card and dice tables, including Poker, Blackjack, roulette, American roulette and Punto Banco. The website address for the Thessaly Casino is thessaloniki.regency.hyatt.com/hyatt/hotels/index.jsp or call them at +30 2310 491 234.

Casino Xanthi (Xanthi) - Casino Xanthi has 25 gaming tables and 115 gaming machines. The table games featured are American roulette, blackjack, punto banco and Caribbean Stud poker. Call the front desk at Casino Xanthi at +30 541 709 01.

Lottery in Greece

Greece has three major lotteries, including one organized by a soccer organization. The Greek Organization of Football Prognostics, also referred to as OPAP, runs a lottery. The two other legal lotteries in Greece are the Hellenic State Lotteries and the Instant Lottery SA.

Cruise Ship Gambling in Greece

Golden Star Cruises offers a gambling experience for tourists, as well. If you take the Golden Star Aegean I cruise out of Piraeus, the cruise offers a gaming experience.

Greek Horse Track Racing

Greece has one officially sanctioned pari-mutuel horsetrack. This is the Markopoulo Racecourse in Markopoulo, Greece.

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