Good buddy Eric dropped me a note about recent events in Greece where lawmakers have effectively banned video games from the country. All of them, of every kind. The reason? To stop online gambling and because Parliament basically admitted that they couldn’t tell the difference between a gambling video game and games like The Sims.
The Greek parliament took the unusual—and highly reactive—step of banning anyone from playing or owning any form of electronic games. The law, which goes by the name of Law Number 3037 in Greece, went into effect at the end of July and was passed in an attempt to stop online gambling. It applies to arcade games, PC games, console games, handheld games, and even cell phones with embedded games. The law applies everywhere, not just in public places. In fact, the law is so unusual and far reaching that many have cried “Internet hoax” when reading about it.
Anyone convicted of violating the new law can be fined 5,000 – 75,000 euros and imprisoned for up to 12 months. Already two Internet caf owners have been arrested and face trial on September 10, and the trials are being viewed as an important test of the law’s validity. Meanwhile, many arcades have reportedly been shut down by authorities.—Gameland.gr
This law was passed in July, but word of it is just starting to hit various gaming websites (or at least the ones I tend to pay attention to) and already the courts in Greece have responded by throwing out the cases against the two Internet Cafs mentioned above.
A court in Greece has thrown out the case against two internet caf驩 owners accused of breaking a law banning computer games.
The ruling is the first of its kind in Greece and sets the courts on a collision course with the state.
Legislation passed in July banned people from playing video games in public places like internet cafs as part of a drive to stamp out illegal gambling.
The law has been criticized for not making a distinction between interactive gambling and computer games.
The court, in its ruling, said the law was unconstitutional.—BBC News
So it looks like it’s headed for a showdown. Perhaps they can settle their differences with a best 2 out of 3 set of Counter-Strike.