Greek Operators Given Free Reign


08/10/2011
By Maria McCoyGoogle

 

In order to increase competition and advertising revenue, the Greek government has offered the online casino gaming operators complete access to all forms of media advertising, including television.  The Greek government, which is currently dealing with a major economic crisis, has recently passed e-gaming legislation, seemingly to try and boost subsequent tax revenue. 

 

As part of the new legislation, operators will be allowed to advertise even before completing the licensing process.  The expectation is that this will cause a large-scale advertising war among all the operators.  The tax revenues are likely to be enormous.  During the six month transition period, any operator licensed by the European Union and licensed by the Greek government (or has at least applied for a license) will pay a 30% tax on gross profit; players will be charged a 10% tax on their winnings.

 

A control committee has been appointed to oversee these matters.  Once the committee is active, the race between the online operators for market share can begin.  Some operators, though, do not benefit from the new legislation.  Betting exchanges, for example, can not advertise freely, and one such exchange has already submitted a formal complaint with the EC.  The firm expressed satisfaction with the initial stages of the reform, specifically the recognition of EU licensing; however, they expressed concern over what they called “elements of the law,” which do not jibe with current EU practice.

 

Athens’s recent legislative action has certainly given the online gambling community a proper rocking.  John Coates, chairman of the RGA executive committee, stressed the importance of maintaining a fairly competitive environment between the privately owned operators and the partially state owned OPAP of Greece.  “We hope to continue to have a constructive dialogue with the Greek authorities on those matters with the aim of ensuring a viable and EU complaint framework is put in operation,” he concluded. 


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