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Greece to regulate online gambling market with juicy tax and ambitious revenues target

After the regulation of TV licenses, Greece is trying to regulate the online gambling landscape. A new government-commissioned study has suggested Greece stick with its controversial plan to impose a 35% tax on online gambling revenue. There are signs that Greece is getting serious about collecting some online gambling revenue aiming to cash 1.3 billion euros in the next 12 years.

US consulting firm Grant Thornton delivered its report on Greece’s online gambling market, which the government had commissioned last year as part of its oft-delayed revamp of the nation’s online gambling regulatory structure.

According to the Grant Thornton report:

Greece should offer two types of licenses: a Type A license covering purely sports betting, while Type B licenses would apply to all other gambling verticals (casino, poker, etc.).

The government is urged not to put an arbitrary cap on the number of available licenses

Licenses should be valid for seven-year periods, and would require upfront payment of €500k plus annual top-ups of €50k.

Greek-licensed operators would be required to have a Greek domain name or a .gr suffix on its domain.

Licensees would also have to establish servers in Greece to ensure monitoring of Greek punters’ activity.

As for the ever-thorny issue of taxation, Grant Thornton suggested the government stick with its plan to tax all online gambling revenue at a flat rate of 35%. This punitively high rate will likely keep the number of interested applicants to the bare minimum, effectively removing the need to impose any cap on the number of available online licenses.

The Grant Thornton report maintains that, if its suggestions are followed to the letter, Greece’s online gambling market could enjoy annual growth of 7%, resulting in a net return to the state of €1.3b over the next 12 years.

Greece has been attempting to restructure its online gambling market for nearly a decade now, but never seems to get any closer to the finish line. Last September, the country’s finance ministry insisted that an online license tender would launch within one month. In December, the government admitted it was still soliciting feedback from prospective licensees.  full article here.

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