Greece has made significant progress in its gambling industry reforms, with the news that an amended gambling bill has now been passed.
The bill, which has been much altered, will see the beginning of the first Greek regulated online gambling industry, at the end of a long legislative process.
The new laws were first introduced over a year ago, in September 2018, and had the aim of reforming the country’s gambling license system and introducing more effective regulations across the industry. And those changes have finally been approved by the European Commission (EC) and the House of Representatives in Athens.
Under the terms of the new laws, Greece will officially end what was described as ‘transition status’ for a total of 24 online betting companies, which were given temporary licenses back in 2011. However, those licenses will run until the end of March next year, at which point the operators will have to apply for a new licence, under the reformed licensing system.
The amendments to the bill introduced a €3 million licence fee for companies that want to offer online sports betting and slots games, with a further €1 million fee for additional products.
In terms of taxation, the controversial 35% GGR tax rate is set to remain in place, but one minor change will permit operators to discount their GGR tax bill before calculating corporation tax payments. Corporation tax in Greece is currently set at 20%.
But some initial parts of the bill have been dropped, including the requirement for a
€500,000 deposit by operators for each licensing review and a plan to charge a variable tax rate on any player’s winnings that exceeded a set amount.
The new regulations will see all licensing applications processed by the Hellenic Gaming Commission, which will take the lead as the main regulatory body in the industry.