Greek monopoly operator OPAP has issued a statement in response to last week’s claims from the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) that Greece’s gambling legislation breaches European state aid rules. OPAP, 34% owned by the Greek government, calls the complaint “unfounded” and claims that “different tax treatment does not in itself constitute state aid.”
However, the RGA has dismissed OPAP’s response, highlighting the European Commission’s decision in relation to admission fees for land-based casinos. According to the EC: “[L]ower taxation of admissions in state-owned casinos is unlawful aid because it creates a fiscal discrimination in favour of public casinos without an objective justification.”
RGA chief executive Clive Hawkswood today explained: “It has never been the RGA’s position that offline and online operators should be taxed at the same rate, rather that any discrepancy in the rates is fully justified.”
“The RGA believes that there are strong grounds for this State aid challenge; the taxation framework poses a serious economic disadvantage for private remote operators licensed in Greece, which requires justification and investigation by the European Commission,” Hawkswood added.