Greece publishes draft sports & egaming licence proposals

The Greek Ministry of Finance has issued draft legislation for sports betting, casino, and poker licenses, with operators facing costs of up to €5m.

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The proposals are now subject to a 30-day consultation period. © Pexels.

The draft regulations were published on Tuesday and will now be subject to a 30-day consultation.

The proposals will require operators to pay €4m for a sports betting licence, along with an additional €1m should they also want to offer casino and poker services.

There would also be a €10,000 fee for each licence application and applicants must deposit €500,000 during the process, as well as hold an existing licence in another EU state. The licences will be valid for five years and must be renewed at least a year before the licence is set to expire.

Operators must hold a registered office in Greece or a different EU state. However, those based outside of Greece will need to have a server within the country.

Winnings will be taxed at a staggered rate. Winnings under €100 will not be taxed, but winnings between €100 and €500 are taxed at 15%, with anything above that taxed at 20%.

Update to gambling framework long overdue

Gambling firms operating in Greece have done so via a transitional permit included in the legislative framework since 2011, which was awarded to 24 operators.

Plans to update this framework have long been held by lawmakers. However, with high licensing costs and no current reference in the proposals to how online slots will be regulated, many operators will be underwhelmed by the draft.

Last year, turnover at those 24 operators equalled almost €5.3bn, which was €300m more than the previous year. Revenue from operators that don’t hold a Greek licence was estimated to be an additional €5bn.

Towards this new framework, the consultation period will run until October 10, before the proposals will be reviewed by the European Commission. That process could take up to four months to complete.

Should the Commission offer no objections, then the legislation will be voted upon in the Greek Parliament next year. Should that also run smoothly, then licences could be issued to operators towards the end of 2019 at the earliest.

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