Greece approves passage of new gambling bill modernising industry frameworks

The Greek government has settled on amendments to finally approve the passage of its revamped gambling bill, launching the country’s first regulated online gambling framework.

First sanctioned in September 2018 with the aim of overhauling Greek gambling’s licensing regime and industry-wide regulations, final provisions of the new gambling bill have been approved by the European Commission (EC) and Greece’s House of Representatives.

The new bill sees Greece end the ‘transition status’ granted to 24 online gambling enterprises which were issued temporary licences during 2011. The operators will be allowed to fulfil their temporary licences until 31 March 2020 but will, thereafter, have to reapply for new certification.

Final licensing amendments see Greece settle on a €3 million licence fee for online sports betting and RNG (slot) provisions, with incumbents able to pay €1 million for additional product extensions.

At a fiscal level, Greece maintains its much-contested 35% gross gaming revenue tax rate on top of further corporation charges. However, final modifications saw the Greek government allow licensed operators to discount GGR taxes before standard 20% corporate tax is applied.

The progress of the gambling bill has seen a number of initial criteria dropped by the Greek government, such as requirements for €500,000 deposit for licensing reviews by Greece’s Finance Ministry.

Furthermore, the government dropped plans to include a ‘15-20% variable tax’ on online gambling player winnings above €100 and €500 range.

As communicated throughout the procedure, the Greek government won’t allow ‘black-listed operators’ to apply for licensing for a period of up to 12 months.

All licensing applications will be monitored and processed by the Hellenic Gaming Commission as lead regulatory body.

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