Tag Archive : IBIA

Greece’s proposed licensing fees “out of line” according to IBIA report

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.

IBIA reports suspicious betting increase for Q1 2020

The International Betting Integrity Association has published its report  for Q1 2020 and a total of 61 incidents were flagged related to suspicious betting. This is a 36% increase compared to the end of the last year (Q4 2019) when there were 45 cases, as well as a 65% increase for the same quarter of 2019; Q1 2019 had 37 reports.

According to the IBIA, suspicious betting became more frequent around mid-March, a week before the official cancellation of  sports events due to COVID-19. “IBIA saw an increase in suspicious betting activity in the week leading to the global sports shutdown highlighting the opportunism of corrupters,” said IBIA CEO Khalid Ali.

Q1 2020 saw most of the reports coming from Europe with 44%, followed by 30% in Asia. Other regions saw 11% in Africa, 10% in South America and 5% in North America. Tennis matches received most of the alerts (31) and held 80% of all reports, while football was second with 18 alerts. Fifteen cases were reported a week before the cancellation of sporting events and since then the IBIA has received seven new cases even after the lockdown.

The country with the most reports was Russia, followed by Tunisia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Tajikistan and Turkey.

The IBIA predicts  the pandemic will slow the global betting market in 2020 but, overall, horseracing and sports betting should see a slight growth compared to last year, with an increase of 0.57% ($73.79 billion).

Land-based betting will be more affected by the virus and it’s predicted the market will have a 4.67% decline. Meanwhile, online betting should grow by 6.88%, less than the 2019 growth of 10.41%.