Proposed Regulation Gets Dicey in Greece, Thanks to IBIAPublished April 29, 2020 by Lee R
Will the Greece government be able to adapt to the latest opposition to its liberalised regulation model?
Greece has run headlong into the licensing wall.
This time it's about proposed fees.
The controversy arises from International Betting Integrity (IBIA) criticism of the Greek Government’s planned 35% gross gaming revenue (GGR) tax rate on operators as well as inordinately high fees.
Welcome, but not As Is
Though the IBIA was pleased to welcome the Government’s decision to update online gambling regulations, the watchdog group found issue with the proportionality, effectiveness and logic of many of the proposals submitted to the European Commission in January.
The high GGR tax rate was particularly irksome, with the IBIA saying the size of the tax stands to discourage operators from applying for licenses.
The IBIA further contested the proposed online betting license fee of €3m ($3.26m) for seven years, as egregious compared to the European market standard (annual UK fees range between £2,200 (£2,734) to £19,333), calling the figures “out of line with international norms.”
The IBIA called the licensing fee “burdensome” and the taxation “high,” saying that these conditions would not “prove successful in attracting operators or maximising the consumers channeling to that market.”
IBIA warned that as a result Greece could lose consumers “to betting products in other more fiscally advantageous markets, negating Greek regulatory markets."
Player Age Issue
The IBIA further found fault with what it called “discriminatory” player age restrictions, apparently finding 21 to be too high an age compared to the European standard of 18.
IBIA indeed urged the EU to advise Greece to reduce the minimum age for online gambling to 18, as consistent with other EU countries, out of consideration for EU competition law concerns which favour APAP products provided by the former Greek monopoly accessible by customers aged 18.
No one said regulation would be easy. Hopefully, the Greek jurisdictional authorities are ready to listen, adjust, and adapt.