After siphoning off billions and billions of Euros from other countries in the Eurozone in the wake of the global price of houmous crashing following the boom years of the noughties, Greece was in a hole.
Couple this with the continual criticism of the country’s night spots, you know the ones where you sit in the sun and then drink until you’re sick. Pretty good, right? – Well apparently not according to the Western media. Now the Mediterranean peninsular seemingly has nowhere left to turn.
When all looked like it was lost, and they might have to look into enlisting the help of a bunch of cockney loan sharks offering rates of 3000% interest, oh no that was just Wonga.com, there was a glint on the shimmering horizon.
That glint was a superhero dressed in the European flag coming to explain to the people of Greece there’s life beyond houmous and feta cheese. Other European countries have been bitten by the online gambling bug, and it’s provided them with tax money to help them out of the global recession – even America’s getting on board.
It’s no surprise then that Greece is finally looking to go into the barely legal, XXX market that is online gambling.
No stranger to the odd Eurotrip, Betfair could be one of the first to operate in a newly regulated market in Greece, which could be finalised as early as May next year.
We caught up with Susannah Gill from Betfair, who commented: “It’s been on the cards for a many months that Greece have been planning to do something regarding the gambling sector, so it’s obviously exciting that things are now moving forward.
“[Betfair] will be submitting a response to the consultation and we will also be undertaking further work with the Greek government to help construct the best proposals for the sector.”
But before Betfair start to think of drink fuelled holidays in Zante, Zakynthos, or any other Greek island, there’s obviously the fact that it’s only draft legislation, and therefore a long way to go until it actually becomes a reality.
She continued: “I think what’s noticeable about the current consultation is how vague some of it is. So it’s clear that they haven’t formed their ideas yet, so we’ll be looking forward to seeing what responses are made to the consultation, and what comes out of it.”
The fact that the consultation is rather vague may be put down to them being both slightly naïve about the whole thing but also not wanting to make a hash of it all, as the tax money they’ll be able to take from it will help their economy out no end. They may even be able to start paying back Germany and the rest of the Eurozone after the disastrous houmous-gate episode of the last year or so.
It’s clear that Greece are going down a slightly similar road to France, where legislation has worked out well for Napoleon and his government, and where companies such as Pokerstars have been left dans la merde, as far as customer relations are concerned.
Betfair wont be making any rash decisions on the market in Greece until the facts are known and the “regulatory landscape is clearer.” This all while Mr Betfair (you know, the guy who gets smashed round the jaw in the adverts) takes part on Who Wants to be a Millionaire and walks away with £1000, and all three lifelines still intact. Not even Chris Tarrant could persuade him to continue.