It’s unfortunate that Greece has a love affair with socialism which so far did little for the country but impoverish it. After the Greek tax coffers have been sucked dry by socialists more thoroughly than if by Dracula, the socialists are after new victims. Unfortunately everything has already been overtaxed, socialized, bankrupted or driven out.
In an attempt to create a new source of revenue to feed off, the socialists in charge, have reluctantly agreed to liberalize Greek gambling laws. The monopoly so beloved by the ruling politicians would have to be removed. This was a hard decision to make since words like competition, free market and private enterprise are as loved by socialists as wooden-stakes, sunlight and crosses are by vampires.
It didn’t take long for the Greek Chapter of the party of Marx, Lenin and Stalin to wake up and realize that their beloved theologians are probably spinning in their graves, revolted by the betrayal of their Greek comrades.
The political leaders of the socialist ruling party have turned against the liberalization of gambling in Greece primarily for three reasons. It has been reported that they are worried about ‘turning the cash-strapped country into a vast casino’ and an increase of addicted gamblers. The socialists are also unhappy with the proposed tax structure which in their opinion doesn’t take a big enough bite out of the theoretical profits of future Greek internet casinos.
“Greece will become one vast casino enriching the wealthy at the expense of the poor. We should not go towards full deregulation of gaming and gambling,” PASOK party MP Dimitris Papoutsis told George Papaconstantinou after seeing the latest draft of the gambling framework.
The European Union is also unhappy with this move, since the idea of subsidizing a member state which has zero interest in self-sufficiency is not appealing in the current European political climate. The new framework for Greek gambling laws, already unpalatable to socialists, was forced to be revised a number of times over the past months in a futile attempt to make it semi-competitive.
The initially proposed 6% turnover tax was changed to a still unattractive but more practical 30% tax on gross profits (on top of the 25% tax on net profits). According to industry analysts, the greediest mafia loan shark in Athens still charges 25% less.
The end result was a restrictive, uncompetitive casino license that was unattractive to both the casino industry and gamblers and puntergamblers bet on sports in Greece. It also virtually ensured that the 10B Euro Greek gambling market will remain firmly in the hands of organized crime.
The Greeks are making the same mistakes with taxes and frivolous requirements that destroyed the licensed French sportsbook industry and are now threatening the Germany. There may be some truth after all to the old saying – ‘The only thing that Socialists are really good at is spending other people’s hard earned money.’