The Greek Syriza government has announced their plans to finally move ahead and implement a new gambling license regime for online gambling operators. This is to take place by October allowing foreign operators to enter their market.
Deputy Finance Minister Trifon Alexiadis announced to Greek news sources this September that the provisions of this new online gambling licensing rules have been finalised and would be made public ‘within a month’. It was also reported by Gambling Compliance that a public tender for the online licenses would be opened in October.
The Syriza government is positive that following these amendments, the new licensing regime will be efficient for the national and international operators that wish to pursue business in the regulated Greek market.
Greece opened its market to European licensed operators in 2011 where they offered 24 ‘temporary licenses’ in online gambling. These licenses were suspended the following year however due to failures that were tax related by the Hellenic Gaming Commission. Alexiadis said that the Greek government has learned a lot from that failed experiment.
The full regulatory requirements required by operators to enter its market is yet to be disclosed by the Greek government. It was revealed in May 2016 by Syriza senior officials that a 35% fixed gross gaming revenue was attached to licensed online gambling services.
Alexiadis stressed that the government’s desire is to curb the online gambling companies activities who “avoid paying huge amounts of taxes, simply because they are established in other countries.” He went on to say that the Syriza government intends this “lawlessness” to cease.
Syriza stated that they expect to raise circa €55-60 million in taxes from online gambling in an attempt to meet the qualifying criteria for their next EU sanctioned loan tranche. They were also positive that this new gambling regime would fulfil the European Union terms on the fair market and competition laws.
The governances of leading international gambling operators are still yet to reveal any interest in their commitment to this new Greek market. Stakeholders will be updated by the Syriza government once the full provisions are made available.