Published On: Wed, Oct 11th, 2017

Greece Plans to Cut Down Gaming Taxes

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International gambling operators looking to expand in Greece just received good news from the country. According to the latest reports, the Greek government is looking to slash the taxes it currently levies on gambling.

 

Earlier this week, Greek news publication, Ekathimerini published a report stating that sources within the Economic Ministry had indicated a possible plan to reduce taxes levied on gambling. It is believed that the government will likely table a new legislation regarding this matter in the upcoming weeks. The reduced taxes will probably be applied to both, gaming tables and slot machines.

 

The report also mentions that the government had consulted with stakeholders in the industry to develop a mixed-rate system. The newly proposed system will see current tax rates dropped from 37% to 25% or lower.

 

Governments aim to boost market

 

It is believed that the government came up with the decision after determining that the reduction in tax rates would increase interest towards the market from local and international operators, which would actually boost the revenue coming into government coffers.

 

In the end of 2016, Greece had approved the tender for an integrated casino, which is to be built on the same property that once held the Elliniko international airport near Athens. Around the same time, the government also approved the shifting of the Regency Mont Parnes Casino in Parnitha, its present location, to a more commercially beneficial location close to Athens. However, the relocation was carried out on the condition that the casino still remains located out of city bounds.

 

Rate cuts may be applicable to more than just casinos

 

As far as the current reports are concerned, the cut in tax rates has only been discussed in the context of casinos. However, there is a possibility that the cuts might even extend to betting and lottery operator OPAP.

 

OPAP, under the current rates, has been paying a gaming revenue tax of 30% to 35%. OPAP claimed that the exorbitant tax rates had caused its revenue to drop last year by 57.5 million Euros.

 

In 2017, OPAP began rolling out thousands of fresh video lottery terminals, despite that fact that the government had limited the number of video lottery terminals to 25,000 instead of the originally agreed upon 35,000.

 

OPAP is believed to have now requested for an extension of its betting license in return for a reduction in the number of lottery terminals. But, whether the new tax rate reductions apply to video lottery terminals is yet to be seen.

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- iGaming & land based specialist reporter for the global gaming market