Posted 3/11/11 : Sensible move to a practical tax regime
The furore over the Greek government's proposed online gambling tax rate of 6 percent of turnover appears to have been ameliorated with the news this week that following submissions from interested parties, the politicians have now opted for a 30 percent tax on gross profits.
The Remote Gaming Association was among those who made submissions on the original 6 percent-of-turnover draft, which RGA chief Clive Hawkswood described earlier this year as "….just not viable in a highly competitive global market", and pointed out that the French government had already made a similar error in imposing too high a tax rate.
Hawkswood's organisation, assisted by business services group KPMG, submitted an assessment to the Greek government, showing that only a gross profits taxation model will provide value for consumers, a reliable source of revenue for the government and a healthy, competitive environment for the industry.
This week the RGA welcomed the reconsidered tax rate, although it noted that the Greek tariff was still somewhat higher than in other European jurisdictions such as Spain. A spokesman said that the Association would continue to lobby the Greek government in an attempt to bring its tax into line with that of other European regulators.
The Greek government has plans to issue somewhere between 15 and 50 internet gambling licenses in 2011, each of which will run for five years. Several major online gambling companies have indicated an interest in taking out licenses.
The liberalisation bill passed at the end of January, leaving the construction of regulations, licensing and taxation regimes to be finalised. There were earlier concerns that aspects of the draft may be in conflict with European law, specifically requirements that licensees have servers and a presence in Greece, and use a Greek internet domain.