Greece Intends to Change Cost of Online Gambling Licenses

  • Sports betting license will be €1m cheaper, but licenses for online casinos and poker will double
  • Operators expected to view their corporate tax responsibilities as one-third of their income
  • Temporary licenses issued under the 2011 agreement will remain valid until March 31, 2020
Houses on small street with flowers in foreground in Santorini, Greece.
Greece has proposed decreasing the cost of online sports betting licenses, but doubling license fees for online casino and poker operators. [Image: Shutterstock]

New draft proposed

Greece has once again changed its draft proposal for how it intends to regulate online gambling.

The new draft, proposed by the Ministry of Development and Investment, offers some good news for operators interested in requiring sports betting licenses. The fee is set to drop by €1m ($1.1m) to €3m ($3.3m) per license.

for online casino and poker operators, the cost of acquiring a license will double to €2m ($2.2m)

However, for online casino and poker operators, the cost of acquiring a license will double to €2m ($2.2m). The same fee will apply when licenses are due for renewal every seven years, as long as an indication is given a year in advance that the company wishes to renew its license.

Tax obligations still in place

Changes have also been outlined for how tax is calculated by online gambling operators in the country. While tax on gross gaming revenue is required to stay the same at 35%, this can no longer be subtracted before adding corporate tax.

Despite the initial 2011 law provision, operators must now view their corporate tax responsibilities as one-third of their income. They cannot subtract the value of the license or any other charges.

Other stipulations include operating using a .gr domain and establishing servers in Greece, which must be licensed to the Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC). Data will need to be stored for 10 years in case of any further enquires.

Harsh penalties for blacklisted operators

Strict penalties will be in place for those that fail to obey the rules, such as any operator who has its domain blacklisted within a year of being refused a license. This also includes operators with outstanding tax obligations.

Any affiliate marketing partner of an operator with a digital license will also be told to register with the HGC at a cost of €1,000 ($1,100). Operators are also forbidden from creating promotions for the Greek pubic with an affiliate who has not registered.

Temporary licenses still valid

For operators who were given a temporary license under the terms of the 2011 agreement, these licenses will still be valid until March 31, 2020.

If an operator then fails to submit an application under the latest rules, they must then terminate all operations within a month of the new legislation coming into force.

However, further variations of the bill may still be proposed before regulation begins. Overhauling the gambling industry has been a priority for Greece for a long time, and while steps are being taken after their new government was elected in the summer, changes could still be on the cards.