Last Update: 12:46
The Greek police reported that in the last fortnight of 2016 they made an astonishing 300 arrests in 51 separate raids for illegal gambling at Internet cafes and unlicensed make-shift casinos.
The authorities have admitted that it is difficult to identify and shut down such operations and that even when businesses are fined for having illegal gambling machines, the fines are considerably low compared to how much revenue the businesses make from the illegal activity — making it a risk many are willing to take again and again even after being fined multiple times.
According to officials, in last year they seized hundreds of video lotto terminals (VLTs), or computers that are used for illegal gambling.
Also the data from the gaming watchdog, EEEP, shows that in Greece the police arrested 1,513 people for illegal gambling, raided 480 businesses operating without the proper licenses or with illegal casino games and seized around 160,000 euros cash over the course of the last year alone. The loss of tax revenue to the state from illegal gambling is estimated at some 300-400 million euros annually.