In the continuing saga of "Gaming Banned in Greece! &qu

From Gamespy:

With the Greek government banning all game related events in both public and private places (law 3037), it is no great shock that the CPL has announced the cancellation of its Thessaloniki, Greece gaming event. It would be safe to assume that the CPL will not be scheduling any future events in that region until the Greek government changes its policy on gaming.

Here’s a longer article on the origins of the law:

Remind me not to play any laptop games over Greece airspace on my next trans-Europe flight.

What a fucked up country. Yet another country to add to this world full of basketcases.

For the first time in my life, I’m ashamed of my Greek heritage. However, I know Greeks pretty well, and to tell the truth, I’m only a little surprised. They can really come up with some lame shit when they put their ‘minds’ to it. This really takes the cake though.


I’m just curious as to when they found the time to pass this little gem of a law, what with them being preoccupied with lobbing a few shells at the Macedonians every few minutes…

Just to clarify… this law only concerns electronic games set up for public use, be it in arcades, gambling halls, or Internet cafés. Some not-so-bright people inside and outside of Greece have been spreading the rumour that “all computer games” were banned in Greece. That’s of course nonsense, private use of computer games is not affected.

That the ban includes Internet cafés is certainly unfortunate for those who don’t have a LAN or even a PC at home, but it’s not like Greece is turning into the next Afghanistan…

They are saying that because the law itself says:

  1. Operation and installation of any game of type (b), © and (d) of Article 1, including computer games,
    placed in public places such as hotels, cafeterias, organization halls and in any other public or private
    place, is prohibited.

Now I’m not a Greek lawyer, but that phrase “any other public or private place” seems to give some awfully wide latitude. (edit: here’s the link for the full law:

Please note that this site is owned by the Greek Internet Cafe Union, a group that has a commercial interest in raising as much anguish as possible about this law because it severely affects their business. They wouldn’t add any explanations that might cause people to calm down.

The law text does say that the ban applies to “public and private places” but I think it’s rather obvious, given the intention of the law (against people losing too much money on gambling machines) and the description of machines that are being banned, that “private” places refers to places such as backroom gambling clubs which aren’t really “public” but still intended as guest rooms. The Greek edition of the International Herald Tribune explained that computer games are really only in the law because the government couldn’t figure out how to properly exclude them from the definition of gambling machines.

But I admit that the law is certainly poorly phrased and could give the impression that Windows is now illegal in Greece because it ships with Solitaire. Which would be an interesting situation, by the way. :)