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Greece Pushes Ahead with Legislation

Greece’s government pushed through legislation that authorizes advertising by prospective operators ahead of licensing.

EU-licensed operators will pay 30% GPT in Greece and players will be subjected to a 10% tax on winnings during a six-month transitional period.

Greek lawmakers hope the latest draft of legislation brings it into compliance with EU law. On July 8, the European Commission issued a detailed opinion against the previous draft of Greece’s online gambling legislation, citing concerns over its incompatibility with EU law.

Betfair, which in June filed a complaint with the European Commission over the proposed ban on betting exchanges, told eGaming Review: “The Greek government’s decision to recognise the licenses held by EU betting operators during the transitional phase is a positive step. Betfair will continue to engage with the Greek Government during this time, working on elements of the law which we believe could be brought more into line with EU principles.”

Update: There is still concern, however, that the latest draft of legislation is not in compliance with EU law. If unsatisfied, the EC could launch infringement proceedings and force the Greek government before the European Court of Justice. Industry lobby group Remote Gambling Association expressed concerns to eGaming Review over “the apparent disregard” of the EC’s complaints. “The disregard for those protocols and the acceleration of this legislation comes at a time when Greece is receiving significant financial support from the EU,” a RGA spokesman told eGaming Review. On July 21, Greece received a €109 billion bailout deal, in addition to the €110 billion in loans agreed in 2010.

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