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Greek Gambling Reform Coming to a Dead End

- January 18, 2018 By Riley Wilson -

Greek government could create favourable conditions for new casinos

Greek Government wants new casinos built, and existing ones are not too happy.

Greece is set to revamp its gambling industry with the help of the new legislation. However, the country’s casino officials are worried that the proposed legal changes will favor new casinos over operational ones.

According to officials, the proposed regulations – which are still under consideration by the government – will create far better conditions for newcomers by imposing different corporate taxes.

What Will It Bring?

The new legislation will remove the players’ entry fee, but only for new casinos, while the existing one will require a permit from the Hellenic Gaming Commission to do so, and will still have to pay a substantial compensation.

If the proposed reform goes through, six existing casinos will be allowed to relocate, while three additional will be built on the islands of Mykonos, Crete, and Santorini, the country’s popular tourist destinations. The proponents of the new legislation believe this move will attract even more visitors, but most importantly, it should boost the country’s economy in these dire times.

However, the officials of all three islands don’t share their enthusiasm and are strongly opposing this idea, with Mykonos’ officials already taking actions to prevent such a move.

The Islands Strongly Oppose the New Proposal

Konstantinos Koulas, the mayor of Mykonos, has sent a letter to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, explaining that the island has more pressing issues than building a casino. Koulas added he would support the building of a casino on the island once all those issues were resolved.

According to available information, the Greek government had conducted a public consultation on the matter and was fully aware of the stance regarding the proposed expansion.

The Mykonos officials are preparing the next move. Last month, the municipal council approved a referendum, which would give the islanders a chance to express their opinion on the whole matter. The council also authorized Mayor Koukas to take any necessary legal action if the government decides to act on its own and moves forward with the planned casino expansion.

A compromise between the two sides is needed or this much-needed reform of the country’s gambling sector won’t go through.

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