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Greece Prepares For the New Gaming Legislation
- November 14, 2017 By Riley Wilson -
Greek lawmakers will soon vote on the country’s new online gaming legislation, while the new proposal pays special attention to preventing illegal operators from targeting players in the Greek market.
The voting will take place this week, and if the draft receives support in the Parliament, it should result in an increase in revenue, and the opening of new jobs.
Fighting the Black Market
According to Kamil Ziegler, Chief Executive Officer of the leading Greek operator OPAP, the most important thing the new proposal brings are measures of dealing with those sides that operate outside the law. Ziegler said the country lost between €300 and €500 million to the black market, alarming figures indeed.
Research firm Deloitte estimated the country could earn up to €1 billion in taxes in the next four years if the latest proposal gets approved in the Parliament.
The new regulation would end the monopoly that OPAP holds on all gaming activity in the country. The former state-owned company was privatized back in 2013 and currently pays around €800 million on a yearly basis for the exclusive rights to operate betting services and lottery games in Greece.
Greek gaming regulator, the Hellenic Gaming Commission, has recently announced that more than €5 million were seized from 2005 to 2015, with over 18,000 infringements of the country’s gambling laws, while the majority of these figures refers to online activity.
If adopted, the new law would also impose a new structure for operation of video lottery terminals (VLTs) in land-based casinos.
This has become one of the key issues, because the planned addition of 35,000 new VLTs is by some viewed as a violation of the nation’s responsible gaming law, introduced 2011.
One thing is certain: the Greek government is looking all over to find additional revenue, and gambling could very well be a solution to some of its problems.
However, it’s becoming more and more difficult for the authorities to balance between ethical boundaries in adapting both online and land-based activity and missing out on a lucrative source of income.