Greek licences will cost up to €5m under new regulations

Online operators face 20% tax on winnings over €500


Online gambling operators will have to pay up to €5m (£4.5m/$5.8m) to obtain a sports betting and gaming licence in Greece under new regulations set out today (Tuesday). Published by the Greek Ministry of Finance, the regulations state that an internet sports betting licence will cost €4m, but operators will need to pay an additional €1m to also offer other online gaming services. Companies seeking online licences will not only have to deposit €500,000 as part of their application, but demonstrate they also hold a licence in another country in the European Union. Licences will run for five years, with operators required to renew their licence at least one year before the expiry date. However, those companies that have been blacklisted in Greece within the past 12 months will not be considered for a new licence. This may impact GVC Holdings, which in January revealed a subsidiary operating under an interim Green licence had received a tax audit assessment of €186.8m. The audit relates to activities from 2010 to 2011, a period in which the business in question was owned by Sportingbet prior to its acquisition by GVC in 2013.

GVC has confimed to that it is in the process of challenging the ruling, stating: "GVC has not been blacklisted and continues to operate legally under licence in the Greek market today." Meanwhile, operators that successfully obtain a licence under the regulations will be faced with a variable tax system, with the rate to rise with winnings. The Greek Ministry of Finance has opted not to tax any winnings under €100, but for winnings between €100 and €500, operators will pay tax at a 15% rate. For winnings over €500, the rate will be set at 20%. However, the new regulations are subject to the outcome of a consultation, which will invite opinion from gambling companies, clubs, Ministries, legal entities, public services and other relevant stakeholders. The consultation is due to run until October 10.

Image: Marco Verch