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Greece Passes Online Gaming Legislation

Parliament changes some aspects of current law

Greece Passes Online Gaming Legislation

The parliament of Greece has passed online gaming legislation that in general complies with European Union law.

The legislation creates a sector control committee to be established at an unspecified date. Once established, a six-month transition period will begin, during which time operators may offer their products and advertise them on all forms of media.

E.U.-based operators will be allowed to use servers based outside of Greece during the six-month transition period. It is not yet clear what the requirement will be for an operator after a license has been granted.

During the transition period, E.U.-licensed operators who enter the Greek licensing process will pay 30 percent tax on gross gaming revenue. Players will be responsible for a 10 percent tax on winnings.

According to GamblingCompliance, some concerns remain due to the wording of the law regarding tax liability for past revenue.

The country manager of one operator responsible for Greece told GamblingCompliance, “Theoretically, the tax liability could start from the first of January 2010. However, that liability is undecided because we don’t have a ministerial decree for the time being.”

Betfair, which had lodged a complaint with the European Commission for excluding betting exchanges from the law, told eGaming Review, “The Greek government’s decision to recognize the licenses held by E.U. betting operators during the transitional phase is a positive step. Betfair will continue to engage with the Greek government during this time, working on elements of the law which we believe could be brought more into line with E.U. principles.”

As reported by eGaming Review, the move brought a cautiously optimistic response from Remote Gaming Association CEO Clive Hawkswood.

“Ensuring an equitable and competitive marketplace involving private operators and the part state-owned OPAP is also an important factor,” said Hawkswood. “We hope to continue to have a constructive dialogue with the Greek authorities on those matters with the aim of ensuring a viable and E.U.-compliant framework is put in operation to the benefit of government, consumers and remote operators.”

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