Gambling Greece – Greece has decided to go ahead and back a gambling bill enabling the launch of the country’s first regulated online properties. The gambling bill has been approved by both the House of Representative in Greece and by the European Commission (EU), the European Union’s legislative body.
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Gambling Greece – Regulations
Greece began working on a modernised version of its regulatory framework back in September 2018, when the country first got the green light from Brussels and from the state’s lawmakers. All companies interested in pursuing a license will be allowed to obtain a license – by meeting the criteria outlined in the bill – by March 31, 2020.
The country will charge any would-be operators EUR3 million for a license for both sports betting and slots. Any existing operators – who obtained their licenses earlier in 2011, will only have to pay EUR1 million, which gives them a slight advantage.
Reaping the Fruit of Gambling
Greece is expected to reap some solid benefits out of investing in gambling. The state will tax all Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) at 35%, which is higher than what the United Kingdom taxes its own operators, for example. However, lawmakers have agreed to give casinos a slight leeway and allow the operators to discount the 20% corporate tax from that amount.
The current legislation is the upshot of prolonged debates about how to best regulated the industry. Greece initially opposed the industry altogether, but the country’s high tourist potential paired with austerity measures imposed by Brussels have forced the country into considering alternative sources of revenue and bolstering the tourism sector further.
Moreover, gambling bills have sprouted all over Europe, including in Ukraine and the now illegitimately annexed territory of Crimea – formerly of Ukraine and now under Russia’s control.
Ukraine’s Gambling Bill
While Greece has been pushing ahead with its own legalization of the gambling industry, Ukraine has also been preparing to create a special status for certain venues, allowing land-based gaming to take place.
Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky has given his full support for legal gambling in the country, which has been well-met in Parliament and Ministers. The country’s potential windfall from gambling could hit $300 million yearly. Yet, licensing fees in the country are expected to be quite steep at around $1.3 million each.
Meanwhile, Russia is pushing on with efforts to turn Crimea – the illegitimately annexed territory – and will seek to resuscitate the moribund territory by attracting a large audience of gamblers.
Russia annexed Crimea without any right to do so and the territory is still not recognized as an official part of the country. Meanwhile, gambling in the Russian Federation remains illegal for the most part, which has prompted many high rollers and well-connected individuals to head over to Belarus, which is also known for catering to the Russian high-class of gamblers.
Many poker operators have also been banned in Russia in an attempt of officials to consolidate the standing of local card rooms owned by people connected to the government.