Greek Fiscal Secretary urges government to tackle illegal gambling

Giorgos Sourlas

Greece’s General Secretary for fiscal transparency Giorgos Sourlas, has urged the Greek Government to toughen up its prosecution of illegal gambling operations.

Speaking to the Greek General Assembly on Tuesday July 2, Sourlas estimated that more than €5 billion (£3.98 billion) per year was being wagered on illegal betting operators. Sourlas stated that illegal gambling and sports betting were harming the Greek economy, and its capabilities of collecting vital tax revenues.

Furthermore Sourlas noted that illegal gambling operators were likely to be connected to European crime syndicates targeting Greece.

Evgenios Giannakopoulos, Chief Executive of the Hellenic Gaming Commission, commented  that the legal market has seen turnover fall from €8.7 billion(£7 billion) in 2009 to €5.5 billion in 2013, prompting a drop in gross profits from 2.5 billion Euros (2009)  to 1.5 billion last year.

Last month the Commission leader commented, “In the illegal market, EEEP figures estimate there are between 60,000 and 100,000 illegal gaming machines at non-licensed gambling spots, and a conservative guess puts their turnover at between 4 and 5 billion euros.