View Full Version : Poor Iakovos & other Greeks

30th Aug 2002, 15:25
In a move that many gamers in the region have deemed a bit too extreme for a democratic country, the Greek government has banned the use of interactive entertainment both in private and public places. The Greek Parliament recently passed a bill that was meant to combat illegal gambling (both online gambling games and slot machines) in cyber cafes around the country, but the law also prohibits the use of games in these types of social establishments (and when they say "games" the meaning touches everything from electronic card games to PC games like EverQuest and Half-Life).

According to one of our readers from that region, an Internet cafe owner was recently arrested by police for allowing some of his customers to partake in a game of Counter-Strike. Thousands of Greek citizens have already begun protesting the blanket anti-gaming law on sites around the internet like this Net Cafe site (Greek language). If you can read Greek, then you may be interested in checking out law (PDF format). We'll bring you more on this story as it develops..

source:Fragland (http://www.fragland.net/?body=newsitem&nid=8501)

Pretty stupid huh?

30th Aug 2002, 20:00
/me scraps Greece from list of countries to visit.

30th Aug 2002, 20:04
Although the law states about private places as well the right to privacy is not been revoked. In other words, you can buy freely the games everywhere but according to the law you cannot play them even at your own home. Yes, I know, the Law sucks and it will definetely be changed!!!

Till then... I will be breaking this law... constantly :D


30th Aug 2002, 20:10
Ah so they expect u to go to the other side of the border before you play them?

31st Aug 2002, 11:22
Actually no. You can buy them in any decent local pc store but they expect (in your own free will) that you will NOT play them in your own home. Of course since the right to privacy and the right for sanctuary a home provides are not revoked (meaning that the Police STILL needs a search warrant to get into your house and not probable cause) who cares? I can do whatever I want in my house.
The Internet cafes' owners are angry, not me.


1st Sep 2002, 15:28
Originally posted by iakovos
Actually no. You can buy them in any decent local pc store but they expect (in your own free will) that you will NOT play them in your own home.


I think that law want last long, don't you think that publishers will try do to something against it? I don't know or games are sold alot in Greece but it would still mean a loss for them.

2nd Sep 2002, 11:36
Hmm, the Greek online players are gonna be pissed, no more Greek servers, no more lan parties...

2nd Sep 2002, 23:01
Well, you are correct, already protests have started.


10th Sep 2002, 15:38
Please,do visit Greece!It's a great country!Nobody will actually arrest you.We are too lazy to do that:p

13th Sep 2002, 11:22
GameSpy Daily News:

GREECE overturns Gaming Ban

If you think your parents or spouses were hard on your gaming habit, Consider yourself lucky that you don't live in Greece.
(well, he DOES exaggerate here!!!)

Late July the Greek Government banned all forms of electronic gaming in an attempt to curb gambling -- the law was defined so broadly that anything from Counter-Strike to a cell-phone game could land you in jail.

Internet cafe owners and other gamers vowed to fight the law, and they've just won the first battle. A judge in Thessaloniki declared the law unconstitutional when some gamers were brought to trial -- check out the full story. Hopefully the law itself will be overturned shortly, before Prohibition-like scenes appear on CNN where G-men in suits proudly demolish piles of PCs and Game Boys.

And in New York Times:
Greek gaming law defeated in court
Matt Loney, Staff Writer, ZDNet (UK)

A new Greek law banning the playing of electronic games was declared unconstitutional by a judge, and the charges against three people were dismissed.

The decision by a judge in Thessaloniki, Greece, could eventually result in the law being repealed, according to reports in the local press.

Before Tuesday's decision, computer game players and Internet cafe owners in Greece said they would fight the law. According to opponents, the law was conceived to address illicit gambling but was written so broadly that playing any electronic game could be considered illegal.

Indeed, the three people released Tuesday operated or worked at Internet cafes, and, according to a Greek news Web site, the police officers who searched the cafes testified that they did not observe any Internet gambling going on--just customers playing chess and other non-gambling games over the Internet.

A draft of the bill, which was brought before the Greek parliament at the end ofMay, stated clearly that all games supported by electrical,electromechanical and software means were banned from public places,according to Nikos Kakayanis, managing director of a string of Internetcafes called The Web. A board member of The Web, Christos Iordanidis, was among those facing charges Tuesday.

When the bill was discussed again in July, said Kakayanis, "a member ofthe opposition party expressed concern that it would only be a matter of time before the owners of illegal gambling machines moved whatevermachines they were using for gambling (coin-ops, PCs, consoles) fromtheir stores (to) private places." As a result, the law was modified to include every private place as well, said Kakayanis.

"Nobody from the members of the parliament realized or could foresee the effects that this would have for PC games, Internet games and gameconsoles, simply because they are not familiar with that side oftechnology," Kakayanis added. The bill became law July 30.

Each of the three people charged with violating the law faced up to three months imprisonment and a fine of about $5,000.


14th Sep 2002, 17:35
Good to hear that.

8th Oct 2002, 18:34
I am in the very happy position to declare that the LAW has been changed for the non profitable games, aka pc and video games.


Cheers to all,
I am not an outlaw anymore :D

Iakovos :)

9th Oct 2002, 02:05
you can win money with playing pc games!!!!! I'm gonna call your goverment. :p