The International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) has criticised the Greek Government’s plans to set a 35% gross gaming revenue (GGR) tax rate for operators and proposals to introduce high licensing fees.
While the IBIA welcomed the Government’s decision to update its online gambling regulations, which was submitted to the European Commission in January, it has a number of concerns regarding the proportionality, effectiveness and reasoning behind some proposals.
Under particular scrutiny was the high GGR tax rate imposed on operators, which the IBIA said is particularly high and will act as a deterrent for operators applying for licenses, directly impacting consumer activity in the regulated market.
The IBIA added the proposed online betting license fee of €3m ($3.26m) for seven years is extortionate compared to the rest of the European market, where annual fees range from £2,200 (£2,734) to £19,333 in the UK.
The IBIA report said: “The approach proposed by the Greek authorities in relation to licensing fees is out of line with international norms.
“IBIA does not believe the burdensome licensing fee proposed and high taxation in Greece will prove successful in attracting operators or maximising the consumers channelling to that market.
“There is a clear danger many consumers will continue to be attracted to betting products in other more fiscally advantageous markets, negating Greek regulatory markets.”
The IBIA also mentioned its concerns about “discriminatory” player age restrictions, with 21 the minimum age for online gambling in Greece.
It urged the European Commission to request Greece reduce the online gambling age to 18 to be consistent with other EU countries, saying the current age restrictions raise EU competition law concerns, favouring OPAP products which can be accessed by customers aged 18.