Friday, April 22, 2016 : GREEK GOVERNMENT TO VOTE ON HIGHER GAMING TAXES (Update)
The already sky-high tax rate is set to go to 35 percent of GGR.
The Greek government has confirmed that it intends to call a parliamentary vote next week in order to increase the already high tax rate on gaming from 30 percent to 35 percent
In the quest for ever more tax revenue the government appears deaf to pleas from operators that it will be extremely difficult for them to prosper in such a discouraging business environment.
Among the major companies that have signalled their distress at the taxation hike has been Amaya, which specifically pointed to the Greek situation in advising that it was unlikely to meet its full year forecast (the company operates in Greece through Pokerstars.gr which has a partnership arrangement with one of the ‘temporary' licence holders).
Tax receipts for government from online gambling have been minimal in the last three years, and turning the screw still further is unlikely to improve the situation; instead players will likely seek offshore operators who can better afford good odds and promotions.
Operators, including OPAP, have already warned that they may be compelled to leave the market, finishing off what is left of the goose that could have laid so many golden eggs.
OPAP and finance ministry officials have reportedly met to exchange views on the situation, but so far it does not appear that government has been deterred from further tax rate escalation, although perhaps there is room for manoeuvre in the way in which tax is calculated.