Greek Online Gambling Taxes 'just not viable' says RGA

Published Thursday, February 03, 2011 -

Greece is having a difficult time writing its online gambling rules and regulations. The Greek government endorsed a new online licensing and taxation regime on January 27, and approved a 6 percent tax on turnover for online gambling services. This tax regime has caused a serious reaction from operators belonging to the Remote Gaming Association, a trade group representing many of Britain’s online gambling operators. The Association issued a statement which in general approves of a more open and just gambling market place in Greece they condemn the tax proposal of 6 percent on turnover, as 'just not viable'.
RGA chief executive officer Clive Hawkswood, has been communicating with the Greek government about the proposed reforms to gambling legislation and their practical application. Hawkswood also mentioned there were some concerns that the new legislation would not pass inspection by the European Commission suggesting that the laws may not be in compliance with current European Union rules regarding e commerce fairness.
Certain aspects regarding the Greek legislation that are questionable include the provision that licensees keep servers and a presence in Greece, and use a Greek internet domain.
The RGA CEO also pointed out the confusion regarding the number of licenses the Greek government is tendering, stating that it is not clear when the government suggests between 15 and 50 possible licenses. 
KPMG a professional business services provider performed an independent assessment of the legislation to add to the Remote Gaming Association statement. “The results are clear. Only a gross profits taxation model will provide value for consumers, a reliable source of revenue for the government and a healthy competitive environment for the industry," Hawkswood commented referring to the KPMG’s addendum.
The same mistake was made by the French government which realized the highly competitive nature of the online gambling industry made the high tax rates untenable. 

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