BASIC LEGAL FRAMEWORK ABOUT LOTTERY – GAMES
Efth. G. Navridis
What is in force concerning the Lottery in Greece?
Under the privatization program of the Law 3985/2011 “Medium Term Financial Strategy Framework 2012-2015 ΄decision
187/2011 (Official Gazette B 2061/16.09.2011), as applicable, the Interministerial Committee on Restructuring and Privatization and by the October 24, 2011 decision of the board of directors, the company called “Fund for the Development of Private Property of the State SA”, which is owned 100% by the Greek government ,decided to transfer the right to exclusive production, operation, traffic, marketing and overall management of the Greek Lottery.
The transfer of the Right will be made by the Fund for lasing a period of 12 years through a contract granting the License. Any period of leave will begin by the end of the transitional period provided for in licensing agreements. The Special Purpose Company shall have the sole purpose of the exclusive production, operation, traffic, marketing and overall management of the Greek Lottery pursuant to the terms and conditions of licensing agreements, the Greek general legislative and regulatory framework, as well as more specific regulatory framework of the Greek Lottery.
Which law regulates gambling?
A key piece of legislation is Law 4002/2011 and specificly Articles 25-54, which were passed in accordance with the relevant EU directives. The provisions of this Act apply to the technical sub-entertainment cc ΄of the case a of Article 25 and gambling, carried out with slot machines or via the internet. These provisions do not apply to gaming conducted, or that which has already authorized the entry into force of this Act, in casinos and the companies OPAP SA and O.D.I.E. SA, for which special provisions are applied.
Which is the scope of implementation of Law 4002/2011?
The Law 4002/2011 applies to “electronic games” and for Lucky Games carried out with slot machines or via the internet.
However, the Law 4002/2001 does not apply to gaming conducted, or that which has already authorized the entry into force of this Act, in casinos and the companies OPAP SA and O.D.I.E. SA. Therefore, the Law 4002/2011 does not apply to “Games Betting fixed and variable efficiency” (Law 2433/1996), “BINGO LOTTO”, “Kino”, Numerical 5 BY 35 “,” Super 3 “and” Super 4 ” (Article 27 of Law 2843/2000).
What is defined by the Law as “Lucky Games”?
According to Article 25 of Law 4002/2011, such games are defined out those of which the outcome depends at least partly by chance, which gives the player a monetary benefit. Within the realm of gambling are also considered the technical-entertaining games that take the form of lucky games, as a result of which a bet is placed between any persons, or in which the end result can bring economic benefit of any kind to the player. The category of lucky games are integrated and all those which are classified as “mixed games” or “gambling”, are in accordance with the provisions of Royal Decree 29/1971, subject to the entry into force of this Act. A game of chance is the Bet.
What is defined as “Bet”?
“Bet” is a game of chance that involves a provision for events of all kinds, from a number of individuals, provided that the profits of each player are determined by the organizer of the bet, before or during game, with reference both to the amount that every player paid to participate in the bet, and at the specified rate of return on the bet.
What are the differences between Lucky Games as opposed to Technical – Entertainment games?
“Technical-entertainment” is the chance whose outcome depends solely or primarily on the skill and mental abilities of the player and performed in public for recreational purposes, without allowing for the outcome of the bet concluded between any persons or given any form of financial benefit to the player. The technical, recreational games, do have a system for calculating, recording and yield economic benefits to the player. The Technical-Entertainment games are not allowed to supply the player with any form of monetary gain.
The technical- recreational games, according to their purpose, are divided into: aa) “gaming machines”: in which to operate them requires only mechanical means and the exertion of physical force by the player. b) “Electromechanical games”: in which the operation requires electrical or electronic support mechanisms. c) “Electronic gaming”: that when to operate, apart from the supporting electronics and other mechanisms requires, electronic assistive devices (hardware), and the existence and implementation of software – the program (software) games, which is incorporated or installed which contains all the information, instructions and other data relating to use and execution of the game.
Which authority is responsible for issuing licenses?
The Commission on Monitoring and Control of Lucky Games under Article 16 of Law 3229/2004 (A 38), which was renamed E.E.E.P., is the authority responsible for issuing licenses, certifications, supervision and monitoring progress and holding games.
What are the responsibilities of E.E.E.P.?
The E.E.E.P. exercise its powers under Article 17 of Law 3229/2004 and in those as laid down in Article 28 § 3 of Law 4002/2011, the most important of which are:
a) The supervision and control of the market: aa) technical – entertaining games with slot machines or via the internet, b) gaming with slot machines or via the Internet, c) forms of gaming that are not defined by other provisions or relevant supervisory authority, regardless of the means of implementing them.
b) To monitor and carry out the necessary inspections of participants in licensing competitions, concessionaires and those who operate gambling, to determine compliance with the terms hereof and their authorization.
c) power, characterization, classification and certification of each type of game or software thereof, and implementing or withdrawing the decision subject to a request submitted by a manufacturer, supplier, distributor, licensee or trader in the premise where gambling will be installed and conducted.
d) The issue of regulatory decisions to protect minors and generally vulnerable groups and to implement specific measures for the prevention and enforcement, banning games with racist, xenophobic, pornographic contents or that which is contrary to public order.
e) issuing regulatory decisions addressed to holders of permits in order to implement measures to prevent and deter money laundering.
f) The imposition of statutory sanctions of the law including the temporary or permanent withdrawl of licenses to perform gambling, without this being a hindrance to other penalties set by other legislation.
g) The establishment of the Organization of E.E.E.P. and the Rules of Operation and Control of Games.
How can one carry out and exploit games with slot machines or online?
To conduct and operate games of slot machines or via the Internet requires the prior granting of an administrative permit pursuant to the provisions of Law 4002/2011. Third non-permit holders may exceptionally operate and operate gambling with slot machines, as set out in paragraph 6 of Article 39. Gambling and slot machines must be certified in accordance with the provisions of the Act.
Is the above exclusivity in line with European legislation?
In principle, the European Court upheld the monopoly on gambling on the grounds that each state – member of the EU has the right to grant monopoly rights, gaming (even online) to a specific company, in order to ensure the safety and consumer protection against crime and the dangers of games.
What is, and what is implemented by, the Governing Body E.E.E.P. and the Rules of Operation and Control Games ?
According to Article 29 of Law 4002/2011, under presidential decrees which are issued with the proposal of the Minister of Finance, upon the original proposal of E.E.E.P., adopted by the Agency of E.E.E.P. and the Rules of Operation and Control Games.
With the Organization of E.E.E.P. , specific issues of its responsibilities are addressed, along with the allocation of staff and all other matters relating to its structure and organization.
With the Regulation and Control Operation Games issues on gambling are addressed, and in particular: a) The conditions of certification and registration in their register of manufacturers, importers and games of skill and slot machines, and the upkeep of these registers. b) The specific procedure for issuing licenses and monitoring procedures, auditing, compliance with the terms of licenses and obligations hereof by the holders of licenses. c) The certification process, its duration, and the enrollment in their registers of shops, slot machines, games or websites to conduct gaming, and the keeping of these registers. d) The rules relating to responsible gambling licensees, who operate games, providers, players, financial institutions, owners of shops, internet service providers (ISPs), advertisers and everyone involved in the process. e) How information providers inter-network (ISPs) from E.E.E.P. to ensure the block of unlicensed gaming sites conducted online by users. f) The operating conditions and specifications of the servers and software games for the license holders and those who operate gambling, on either slot machines or via the Internet, and the frequency and the exact content of the data sent to E.E.E.P.. g) The procedures for imposing sanctions, the mode assignment and escalation of sanctions under Article 51. In addition, the Regulation and Control of Gaming Operation regulating commercial communication games, the advertising of gambling, and in particular gambling and rules of conduct to govern activities.
What is in force regarding the licensing of gambling ?
Greece is allowed to operate 35,000 slot machines. The Minister of Finance granted a license to OPAP SA in accordance with the provisions of Article 27 of Law 2843/2000 (A 219) for total of 35,000 slot machines. From this number, 16,500 were installed and operated by OPAP SA through agencies, and the remaining 18,500 were installed in unmingled locations, according to the requirements of Articles 42 and 43, and operated by concessionaires to whom OPAP grant the right of establishment and exploitation, as set out in paragraph 6. For the grant of license a payment is determined in accordance with the procedure as outlined in paragraph 9 of Article 27 of Law 2843/2000. The price for slot machines installed by OPAP SA and operated through their agencies is paid immediately upon the granting of the license. The license is valid for ten years, beginning twelve months after being granted.
What comprises aPersonal Card Player?
In order to participate in games of chance conducted by slot machines or via the Internet, a player requires a personal card, with the aim of identifying factors such as age, Tax Identification Number (AFM), and to ensure additional restrictions set by the player himself. The individual player card may be issued by holders of permits in accordance with the procedure and conditions established by the decision of E.E.E.P.. Prohibited to E.E.E.P., holders of the license and all operators is to conduct any gambling disclosure of the Personal Card Player. All the above relate to taking appropriate precautions so as not be able to identify players with technical or other means that can reasonably be used by third parties.
What is the process of licensing online gambling ?
The conduct of gambling on the internet in Greece, comes under the exclusive jurisdiction of the State which operates through specially licensed providers.
The E.E.E.P. determine the required operating conditions and specifications of the servers and software for the gaming license holders to conduct gambling on the internet, to ensure compliance with all provisions concerning the protection of players and the public interest .
The authorization to carry out gambling online has five (5) years tenure and includes conditions for which the activity was issued. No contractor can obtain more than one license. The licenses are personal and not transferable. Prohibited in any way is the leasing or pooling of marketing with others.
Some of the conditions imposed on the authorization may be incompatible with European legislation and / or the Constitution, as that of the sites which carry gambling online with the mandatory name ending in «. Gr» (Article 47, paragraph 7), that the person who operates gaming websites mandatory exercises and the operation of these websites (article 48 paragraph 2) and that it is prohibits the creation and operation of websites by non-permit holders (Article 48 paragraph 3), and places severe restrictions on Internet use but in addition because they lead to incongruous conclusions, as for example that the holder of the license should also be the page designer.
Which are the consequencesof operating without license or in violation of the license?
The consequences consist in serious administrative penalties (heavy fines, the recovery of which is pursued according to the provisions of the Central Union of Municipalities [K.E.D.E.] the revocation of the license, the closure of the company) and also criminal penalties reaching imprisonment.
Has law 4002/2011 been put into effect?
The actual implementation of the Law has been hindered by the delay of the Ministry of Finance to enact the Advisory Committee on Gaming, which would be responsible for suggesting to E.E.E.P. the necessary measures for improving the functioning of the market and formulating opinions for regulatory decisions that E.E.E.P. is authorized to issue by the Laws 3229/2004 and 4002/2011. Furthermore, neither the Governing Body E.E.E.P., nor the Rules of Operation and Control Games have yet been established.
*This text was originally published in the volume “Greek Law Digest” (edition of Nomiki Bibliothiki)