The Remote Gambling Association (RGA) has filed a complaint with the European Commission that Greece’s online gambling legislation is in breach of EU State Aid rules. According to the RGA, tax treatment of part-state owned monopoly OPAP would give it an unfair economic advantage over private gambling operators.
Under the legalisation, OPAP, 34% owned by the Greek government, would be exempt from the 30% gross profits tax (GPT) to be levied on online operators. The law would also impose a 10% withholding tax on all customers’ winnings with online operators, but OPAP’s customers would be free from paying taxes on winnings of €100 or less.
Clive Hawkswood, chief executive of the RGA, said: “We are fully aware of the fiscal pressures on the Greek authorities at present, but they do not justify the imposition of anti-competitive tax provisions which benefit the existing monopoly gambling provider over private online operators soon to be licensed in Greece.”
The RGA also hit out at the OPAP, claiming that legislation is aimed at only increasing its value prior to a proposed sale by the Greek government. Last month, the government increased the length of time its monopoly lasts on land-based gaming for another decade to 2030.