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Greek Online Casinos to Be Hit With Higher Tax Under New Laws

Greek online casino operators might soon be facing a significant tax hike following new laws drafted by the Ministry of Development and Investment.

The new draft is the latest in the space of only 12 months and will replace the previous laws from a year ago if the proposal is accepted. While online sports betting operators get a nice 25% cut to their permit costs (down to €3 million), online casinos and poker operator’s permits have been doubled to €2 million.

In addition to this, a change in the way taxes can be paid means operators will now be paying one-third more tax than before. The standard 35% tax on gross revenue remains the same but operators can no longer deduct this AFTER corporate tax. This essentially equates to paying tax on an extra one-third of gross revenue.

No other changes

Previous statutes remain the same – licenses are valid for seven years and operators cannot deduct license costs or any other fees from their corporate tax payments. All online casinos and sportsbooks must be physically based in Greece (servers, hardware, etc) and must use the Greek top-level domain code “.ge” after their website name.

Local gambling regulator The Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC) must be granted access to servers at all times and online gambling operators must keep 10 years worth of data on record. The HGC maintains a blacklist of non-compliant online gambling operators who will not be granted the option of renewing licenses, along with any operator with outstanding tax.

The current licenses held by 24 existing online operators in Greece will remain valid until the 31st of March next year, by which time new licenses must be applied for.

Gambling laws tightening globally

Online gambling has come under global scrutiny recently as the ease and availability of mobile gambling has spread. Earlier this year, the United States Justice Department passed a decision to change the way in which the U.S. Wire Act is interpreted. This meant that U.S.-based online casinos like those found at casinosx.com are barred from participating in interstate transactions.

As a result, gamblers wishing to play online would only be able to do so when physically within a state where online gambling is legal. The change in the law came under heavy criticism and has attracted legal challenges from many operators in the country. The three states where operators were most affected were Delaware, Nevada and New Jersey, which are popular for hosting interstate online poker tournaments.

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