New Greek Movement for iGaming Legislation for 2016Published April 27, 2016 by Lee R
New proposals will attempt to take into consideration a wider range of interests.
The Greek government is now set to introduce new online gambling legislation in 2016.
The next wave in this process is a parliament vote on a proposal to increase gaming taxes to 35% of gross gaming revenue.
In the shadow of the persisting Greek economic crisis, the proposals were submitted to the Troika of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Central Bank (ECB) and EU in the pursuit of further loans.
Private Operators Disrupted
The Greek crisis is so severe it is interfering with the operations of private operators. Amaya´s 2015 Q3 report identified Greek fiscal problems as an influential factor in reducing full year revenue expectations.
The crisis has given rise to a number of questionable legislative changes on the part of the government. When the state sold its share in online operating provider OPAP, the government announced that the existing licenses would not be renewed, raising the price for the privatized company while blatantly violating EU policies. The EU Commission ultimately allowed the legislation to pass, but not without the warning of potential legal challenge.
Other questionable legislation includes changes in taxation guidelines rendering the situation most untenable for online poker. At this juncture, income taxes will be calculated based on amount won in any 24-hour period, while following day losses will not be offset against winnings.
The government hoped for further tax revenues from the deployment of video lottery terminals (VLTs), but OPAP informed the government of plans to cancel its VLT business due to lack of commercial viability under the government’s tax proposals.
The new legislation will take into account OPAP´s concerns, yielding hope that a solution can be reached. The iGaming world will wait and see.