Gaming is NOT illegal in Greece.
Well, just to explain the situation: all forms of gambling in general are QUITE POPULAR here in Greece. Electronic gambling received quite some public attention 6-8 months ago when a specific journalist dedicated his TV show to it. The reaction of the goverment under the pressure of the public opinion was indeed ridiculous...
The coin-op problem:
A lot of Arcade game owners, used modified illegal circuits & software to turn Arcade games (coin-ops) to gambling machines. They even used remote controls to switch between simple games like PacMan, Tetris, etc to gambling games (you could actually gamble with money)
1. People were loosing billions on these machines, goverment received no taxes over the bets either. Thousands of families destroyed...
2. The police could not possibly check all the Arcades (coin-ops) for modified circuits, since it takes time to check the actual circuit boards for modifications, requiring specialized personel & equipment
3. There are about 150,000 coin-ops here in Greece (for about 10 Millions of total population), spread all over Greece, meaning 150,000 potential gambling machines, as explained above.
3. Law is not very clear & stict enough for electronic gambling. So even when a few owners ended in court, they either managed to get away with it, or the fines imposed were ridiculous compared to their illegal earnings, meaning they could continue run their 'businesses'. Moreover, those that produce the modified circuits (or imported them), are not being prosecuted either (no law either)
4. Then came the internet gambling, which ofcourse they could not handle at all...
So as mentioned before the goverment tried mainly to ban ALL coin-ops, and secondly gambling at internet cafes.
But these are the real problems:
-The 1st real problem is that the specific ministers & other officials handling the situation actually DONT HAVE A CLUE about technology/internet/etc. If you could only hear how they were trying to justify the new laws, you'd be laughing for months...
All they care about is lost taxes from illegal gambling, and the public opinion. So it is OK to loose a fortune on a legal 'casino' (since the goverment receives the taxes), but not on illegal gambling.
-The 2nd and MOST IMPORTANT: education. Education has been taking the downhill over the last 20 years, so people dont really have any 'protection' against these things...A real TRAGEDY if you ask me.
-CORRUPTION of officials is also on of the biggest problems...
-The general economic situation of Greece: over the past 20 years income has been decreasing, and expenses are increasing. With an unemployment rate of 12%, almost everyone is looking for 'easy earnings'
- Greek politicians really live in the Stone Age, and do not give a damn about citizens. They are all dependent on 4-5 businessmen. Everyone knows about them, and noone does a thing to change the situation.
This comment was edited on Sep 8, 01:18.