(Greece) – Trifon Alexiadis, Greece’s Deputy Finance Minister, told legislators that the new online gambling licensing rules had been finalized. He said that the provisions would be announced to the public within one month. It was also reported by Gambling Compliance that the tender for these online licenses would open up in October of 2016.
Back in 2011, the Greek government had experimented with a failed system that would issue 24 temporary licenses to online operators. In 2012, all the licenses were suspended in an attempt to boost OPAP’s value since the government was planning to sell it’s 1/3 stake in the company. Opap is a publicly traded company in Greece that manages the sports betting and lottery in the country.
Alexiadis has said that the government learned a lot from the experiment’s failure. He said that the government wants to prevent gambling companies that have avoided paying taxes. He said that he wants to, “avoid paying huge amounts of taxes, simply because they are established in other countries.” The new rules would help prevent this from happening.
Alexiadis also said that the new rules would include, “reporting to the competent Greek authorities by foreign payment providers who are active in Greece.” He went on to say that this move would insure that, “financial transactions in conducting games of chance via the internet between Greek players and foreign companies can be more easily detected.” Overall, these rules are designed to help enhance the online gambling industry by keeping the companies honest.
The Hellenic Gaming Commission, or EEEP, has also been stepping up its efforts to prevent online gambling sites who haven’t been authorized from doing business in Greece. The EEEP blacklist has early doubled since August of 2016. The number of companies on that list is nearly 850.
It is unclear how many of these online gambling operators will apply for these new licenses. It is also important to note that those who do have a license will be expected to pay 35% of their gambling revenue in taxes to the Greek government.