Greece bans all electronic games everywhere

NEW YORK -- In addition to the age-old admonition about not drinking the water when abroad, travel agents now must warn GameBoy owners and other PC-gaming clients bound for Greece to just leave home without it.

That's because the Greek government, concerned about the spread of illegal gambling, recently banned all forms of electronic games in both public and private spaces across the country.

Violators reportedly face tens of thousands of dollars in fines and up to a year in prison.

The new law applies to PCs in private homes, offices and Internet cafes, as well as to GameBoys and similar handheld gaming devices -- including mobile telephones.

And while native Greek gamers bear the brunt of the law, tourists reportedly also are subject to its restrictions.

But the Greek National Tourist Organization in New York, while referring reporters to the Greek consulate for official comment, downplayed the law's impact on visitors.

"[The prospect of] GameBoys being confiscated at the airport is a bit extreme," said a spokesman. "Greece is a member of the European Union and follows the laws of those countries."

The Greek Consulate in New York did not respond to inquiries.

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