OPAP is the Greek organization of football prognostics and they have been prioritizing gaming companies by the Greek government. They have established a monopoly over many of the different gaming opportunities and this has affected Greek citizens tremendously.
While the European Union’s Court of Justice has ruled that this monopoly status is illegal, it still remains in effect throughout Greece. What this essentially means is that the Greeks are going against what the European Union is calling law. There are new Greek gaming laws coming into effect, though OPAP is still enjoying a significant monopoly on land as well as online – and this is likely to continue until the end of 2020. There are the only provider or online sports betting, blackjack, and other online gaming.
In the past, Greeks have been able to access other online casinos that offer blackjack and other games that are based outside of the country. Now, due to the monopoly and because of new laws in place, Greeks have found that there are 401 online gambling websites that are on a blacklist. These are banned from operating within Greece and cannot offer services to Greeks.
Anyone in Greece who wants to enjoy the game of blackjack will have to do so if it is provided by OPAP and through the OPAP rules. Even though a third of this organization has been sold, the government maintains the monopoly – and this leaves citizens to settle for whatever the organization offers in terms of online gambling.
Greek ISPs have been given the long list of online gambling sites that are banned, which means that access will be blocked. This ensures that everyone is able to comply with the laws since it will be illegal to access these 401 sites. As another way to prevent people from being able to access the 401 sites, the Bank of Greece has also complied with the government and will block financial transactions to and from these sites. Essentially, this means that even if a person were able to get around the access issue, they would still not be able to transfer money into the site in order to be able to gamble.
The 401 companies that made the blacklist include a variety of popular sites including Digital Entertainment, 888 Holding and Poker Heaven.
It is not just blackjack that has been impacted, but all online gaming. Even though the European Union has stepped in, the Greek government maintains the monopoly for the foreseeable future.