|A Greek internet cafe owner on Monday absailed down a landmark building unfurling a banner protesting against a new illegal gambling law so severe that it not only restricts online gaming but prohibits Gameboy being played in public.|
Alexis Asteriadis, who is also a mountain climber, scaled half way down the 32-meter (106-foot) White Tower, a 15th century fortress tower, and unfurled a banner reading 'no to censorship on the internet.'
Internet cafe owner are protesting a new law covering all electronic and mechanical games based on luck and which can be used to place bets or to win money — such as slot machines, card games and quizzes offering cash prizes.
The legislation was approved in late July shortly after an unlicensed slot-machine scandal damaged the governing socialists. Nearly all the machines were modified computer or arcade games located in video game parlors or coffee shops.
The law does not ban arcade or computer games. It does, however, prohibit people from playing online games in internet cafes because authorities would be unable to check whether the players were also gambling.
Internet cafe owners complain the law is driving them out of business, and have called for it to be reversed.
Asteriadis was arrested after descending from the White Tower, and charged with violating a law regulating outdoor advertising.
Two internet cafe owners and an employee are to appear in a Thessaloniki court on Tuesday after tax police found some of their customers playing online chess and a game called counter strike.