Greek gambling to go through new regulations

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The Parliament is expected to pass amendments regarding the VLTs monopoly and the relocation of the Parnitha casino in the country.

Greece.- The Parliament is expected to pass this week a series of amendments regarding the contract between the state and gambling monopoly OPAP concerning video lottery terminals (VLTs), as well as the relocation of the Parnitha casino closer to capital Athens. The plan could be implemented by the end of this year.

Euclid Tsakalotos, the Finance Minister of Greece, is expected to reveal new tax changes for casinos, and new facilities on Crete and Myconos. Online gaming and the process to obtain a license will also change after the announcement. As local media revealed, the changes to the tax status of casinos are one of the most expected in the territory: the Ministry wants to reduce the rates in order to make more attractive a casino permit at Elliniko, which is fundamental to develop a plot of the old airport in Athens.

The government considers that rates higher than 22 percent alienate major investors and threaten the economy of the existing facilities. The current system goes from 22 to 35 percent but the new number would have a flat rate for games in Greek casinos. Moreover, the entrance ticket that people are obligated to pay would also be abolished under the new regime.

The ministry is also expected to issue new licenses for Crete and Mykonos in order to upgrade the tourism destinations and make them a venue source as they receive multiple visitors from all over the world. Casinos that are loss-making or don’t attract investors could also have their licenses revoked.

Online gaming is set to face some changes too: the government could force providers to obtain an online address within Greece so local punters that want to log in to their website are redirected to the Greek .gr domain. This move would determine that all operators are under the jurisdiction of local authorities and regulators. The plan from the Deputy Economy Minister Stergios Pitsiorlas is also expected to be implemented in the same period.

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