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Greece is About to Regulate, with Local Applicants Preparing Final StatementsPublished September 13, 2018 by Lee R
After 7 years, the transition is coming to an end, and operators interested in a licence under the new regulations now need to get all their ducks in a row.
Online gambling operators in Greece are now officially being called upon to pony up.
This is because the licensing fee has been revised under new regulations which went into effect earlier the week.
Concluding the Transition
For seven years, operators in Greece have been working under transitional permits in anticipation of a permanent license system.
Now, new regulations published by the Greek Ministry of Finance have priced “permanent” online sports betting licenses at approximately €4 million, with operators looking to provide on tab for €1 million more.
Applicants will be additionally required to submit a €500,000 deposit with their applications and tender proof of possession of a gambling license in another country within the EU (European Union).
The licenses will be valid for 5 years, with renewal applications due 1 year prior to expiration.
Companies blacklisted in the last year or so will not be eligible to apply for a fresh license. One of those on the list is GVC Holdings, whom were included on the list as a result of an early 2018 admission of subsidiary operation in Greece under an interim license.
Winnings under €100 will not be taxed, with winnings over €100 and below €500 taxed at 15%, and winnings over €500 mark taxed at 20%.
The new taxes are part of an expanded variable tax system introduced in the recent regulatory updates.
The Consultation Period
Stakeholders such as Ministries, clubs, gambling firms, legal entities, and public services, etc. will be allowed to express their views in a formal consultation process until October 10th before regulations take effect.
Those stakeholders will be undoubtedly expressing shock upon seeing the stiff new taxes, but at least they have the facts to bring the speculation and anticipation to a close.
With 24 operators currently operating in the transitional format, there will be no shortage of opinions.
Getting Off the List
A key one will be GVC, who is trying to resolve the €187m back-tax demand submitted in January to GVC by the Greek authority because of the aforementioned admission,
while preventatively putting aside the money to cover this tax obligation, which it is fervently seeking to keep via court challenge.
The taxes and amounts due that the government is claiming are not likely to drop though, considering Greece’s infamously significant debts to international moneylenders.
Once all is said and done, the deadline for final acceptance for all comments will be October 5th, with accepted applicants to be informed of successful results of application within two months of filing.
So the time is at hand to attain a license in Greece. The pie is large for those accepted, with online sports betting turnover for the 24 transitional licensees reaching almost €5.3b in 2017 for a jump of €300m from the previous year, with additional spending at unlicenced Greek-facing operators worth another additional €5b.