Recent portions of Greek gambling news seem to be related to news about the Greek economy, but then almost every piece of news coming out of Greece is like that.
With its economy in a state of disaster, Greece is desperate to find new ways of plugging the gaping holes in its budget. No solution, small or big is off the table.
So, valid from the start of this year, all gambling winnings have been subject to a flat rate tax of 10%. Following protests and even strikes by lottery shops fearing the loss of their customers, the government has agreed to repeal the tax. Sort of.
While prizes under EUR 100 will again become tax free, bigger winnings will be slapped with progressive tax brackets of 15% and even 20%. The latter rate applies to everything above 500 Euros. The 30% tax rate on OPAP’s earnings remains unchanged.
With this latest move the government introduced what looks suspiciously like a tax increase, though small scale gamers may indeed be better off. The exact impact, as well as the reception of the changes among punters and shops, remains to be seen.
The move comes amidst legal wrangling with the EU and international competitors over controversial aspects of Greek gambling laws, such as OPAP’s gambling monopoly, as well as the company’s plans for online offerings.
Even if Greek online gambling may be restricted to lottery for the foreseeable future, even the offline gambling market lucrative enough to have major international players like William Hill, Stanleybet, and Sportingbet waiting impatiently on the doorstep.
Should the country’s market be opened up – as the recent EU ruling may eventually force it to – the local punters would be able to choose from a variety of establishments where to bet on sports in Greece.