Mobility, despite the pandemic, for online gaming licenses


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Mobility, despite the pandemic, for online gaming licenses

Over € 430 million, up by about 10% from the previous year, gross profit (GGR) of the online gambling market in Greece in 2019.

Based on the data sent by the companies to the Ministry of Finance, last year the online market continued to grow significantly, with gross profit (GGR, gross profit after deducting players' profits) of over € 430 million, against € 391,6 million. , 2018m euros in 37, the year that GGR was already up XNUMX% from the previous year.

The lion's share was again taken by the big players in the market, namely the Gambling Malta (Stoiximan), B2B Gaming Services (Bet365) and GVC (Sportingbet, Bwin), while there were some rearrangements among other providers.

For the current year, data for the first two months of 2020 have maintained a rising trend. However, it is a bet (literally) that it will move overall in the 12 months given the suspension of sports activities due to the coronavirus pandemic and the abolition of major events (such as the Euro 2020 to take place in 2021).

Mobility for licensing

At the same time, mobility continues to be recorded in the licensing process, in view of the overall regulation of the online gambling market.

The Draft Ministerial Decision establishing the Regulation of Games and the Regulation of Game Specifications (ICT) for the organization and operation of online gambling have been submitted to the European TRIS consultation system, with the status quo expiring on 1 April 2020.

Subsequently, it will be sent to the Ministry with any observations that will be adopted and then, in due course, enter into force. At the same time, companies operating under the provisions of article 45-50 of Law 4002/2011, should submit to the EIOC the application provided by the “Transitional Provisions”.

In view of the licensing process, there is already interest from existing and new providers that will apply for new licenses. In addition to the well-known names that are expected to continue to operate in the Greek market, information already indicates that there is exploratory interest from companies, including Interwetten, Betson, Fonbet, Betway and others, as well as casino companies that are considering licensing but have not yet come to terms.

Along the way, other groups are expected to show interest, however, who will eventually go on to obtain licenses or licenses in the coming months and will depend on the final regulatory framework. Against the background of the pandemic, it is not excluded that there will be further intervention by interested parties to extend the time for repayment of licenses.

At the same time, there are several issues of a legal and procedural nature that need to be clarified, such as what procedure will apply to providers who are blacklisted but want to obtain a license, how others will be licensed but who are "sharing" VAT.
Experts in the field talking to estimate that licenses or partnerships with existing providers may be available in the coming period to ensure that foreign (but also domestic) companies, such as companies with a wider presence in the media, telecoms and sports activities, enter the market.

The new 7-year licenses, which will be granted, not through a competition as it has long been known, concern two types: type 1 involves an online bet, with a fee of 3.000.000 euros and type 2 relates to other online games, for two EUR 2.000.000. This license includes casino gambling, poker and its variants, provided online and conducted either live or using a Random Number Generator.

Note that, based on the Budget, for 2020 the estimated revenue from online gambling licenses was estimated at € 75 million (in new code 1140102 as "gambling licenses").

Based on this prediction of financial performance, market players are interpreting that they are expected to be granted about 15 licenses, as prospective providers are expected to move to obtain both types of licenses, as their business becomes more profitable. model.

By Nikos Chrysikopoulos


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