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Greek online gambling market set for permanent regulation

10 Sep 2018

The Ministry of Finance in Greece has recently announced that it will be putting a new bill under the name "Rules for the purchase of online gaming-Amendment of Law 4002/2011" to public hearing. The Greek online gaming market has been under a temporary legislation framework as of 2011, with the market's first regulation proposals having started in 2010. The new bill signals a new era for the Greek online market and is projected to completely overhaul the existing structure.

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The two license types

The amendment of Law 4002/2011 will be introducing 2 altered types of licenses:

  1. license for online gambling, both for sports and online casinos,
  2. license for various other online gaming activities.

Following the introduction of the new framework, the temporary license status will cease to exist and will allow all operators to hold new five-year licenses. The new bill highlights that all applicants will be able to obtain both types of licenses after paying the equivalent amount and fulfilling all legal requirements. It's also worth mentioning that the license cannot be transferred to another company or person (either in part or fully), as was the norm until now. Another alteration is that each license will belong to only one operator, which changes the state of license sub-letting to third parties that are currently taking place.

Application & license costs

Under the new bill, each operator applying for a license will have to submit a request to the Greek regulation board (EEEP) with all the necessary documentation along with a fee of €10,000. On the application, the operator must also note which type of license they are applying for as separate fees apply:

  1. € 4,000,000 for an online gambling license,
  2. € 1,000,000 for permission to conduct other online gaming activities.

Following the successful submission of the request, the operator will have to wait for a two-month evaluation period.

License duration & renewal

The new license will be valid for a period of 5 years, and all license holders will also have the right to renew it for the same amount of time (5 years). However, applicants are required to submit the renewal request at least one year before the expiration date of the existing license, together with the corresponding fee.

What happens to existing operators

Operators currently active in the Greek online gaming market will have to apply for the new type of license up to a maximum of 6 months after the new law is put into effect. Operators that will not apply within 6 months after the new framework is implemented will be required to cease operating in the local market.

Legal details of the new bill

  • All applicants and legal entities must have their registered office in Greece or any other country in the European Union together with available funds at a minimum of €200,000.
  • Members of the Board of Directors must have a clean criminal record.
  • Any legal entities that were included in a list of unauthorized operators will not be eligible to get any type of license.
  • Domain names of all websites will have to be registered with a ".gr" TLD.
  • All applicants that have a registered office outside of Greece must at least have a server in Greece, which must be directly connected with the regulator.
  • Gambling license applicants will have to file a €500,000 insurance letter from a credit institution operating legally in Greece or any other country in the EU.

Taxation

Bet taxes will remain the same. In specific, tax on winnings up to €500, stands at 15%, while higher winnings than that will be subject to 20%. However, winnings from OPAP's "Pame Stoichima" will be taxed by 10%.

The verdict towards the new bill will take place on 5 October at 12:00.

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