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Greece set for online gambling reforms

Lawmakers in Greece voted in favour of new online gambling regulations launching the country’s first regulated online gambling framework.

The new bill, which was backed by the European Commission and approved by House of Representatives, ends the ‘transition status’ granted to 24 online gambling enterprises which were issued temporary licences during 2011. The operators will be allowed to fulfil their temporary licences until 31 March 2020 but will, thereafter, have to reapply for a new certification.

The final licencing changes see Greece settle on a €3 million licence fee for online sports betting and Random Number Generator (RNG) games, such as slots, with incumbents able to pay €1 million for additional product extensions.

Greece will also maintain its much-contested 35 per cent gross gaming revenue (GGR) tax rate. However, operators will be able to discount GGR taxes before standard 20 per cent corporate tax is applied.

The government dropped plans to include a “15-20% variable tax” on online gambling player winnings above €100 and €500 range. The final bill also doesn’t include the earlier proposal of €500,000 deposit for licencing reviews by Greece’s Finance Ministry.

All licencing applications will be monitored and processed by the Hellenic Gaming Commission as the main regulatory body in the country. The operators that were placed on the commission ’s blacklist won’t be able to apply for a new licence for a period of up to 12 months.

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