Greece to relaunch online licensing regime

Greece to relaunch online licensing regime

Monday, January 11, 2016 Totally Gaming
The country's government wants to raise extra revenues through gaming taxes

The Greek government said it is to proceed with proposals for the revision of its online gambling licensing regime.

Some 10 months after initially touting the idea when it assumed power, the Syriza government has now said it envisions a system in which online licenses would cost €3m ($3.27m) for a five-year period and operators would have to prepay minimum tax of €1m per year.

Precise tax rates have yet to be confirmed, while it is also unspecified what range of products that operators would be able to offer in the cash-strapped country.

Greece’s Deputy Finance Minister Tryfon Alexiadis said that the plan could generate up to €500m per year for the government.

Some 24 operators, including William Hill and Betfair, were awarded temporary licenses in 2011, but the permits were revoked the following year as the government attempted to boost the pre-sale value of former state-owned betting monopoly OPAP. The Court of Justice of the European Union ruled in January 2013 that OPAP’s monopoly was unlawful, with a standstill ensuing until the Syriza’s new proposals were unveiled in March 2015.

Last month, the Therapy Centre for Dependent Individuals (KETHEA) said that the number of gambling addicts seeking help has increased by 20-25 per cent in the past five years. The organisation told the Greek Reporter website that the increase in the problem is “attributed mostly to the economic crisis”.

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