Greece To Vote Soon on Casino Expansion BillDecember 6, 2017 12:26 pm
Greece is pushing forward with its plan to overhaul the country’s gambling industry, and is hoping to have a new draft bill passed in Parliament within the next couple of weeks, before being enacted on 1 January, 2020. Both live and online gambling provisions are included in the piece of legislation that is being promoted by the Greek Ministry of Finance.
In terms of land based gambling, the bill allows for the building of three new casinos on the islands of Crete, Santorini and Mykonos. In addition, a further six casinos already operating in the country will be permitted to relocate to more popular tourist locations, including Regency Casino Mont Parnes in Athens, currently the sole gambling venue situated in the Greek capital.
Attached to the reform bill is a report suggesting that the country’s gambling and tourism sectors stand to benefit massively from having an improved level of connection between the two industries. Furthermore, relocating venues will also allow for integrated resorts to be built, complete with an abundance of facilities to draw in tourists, including shops, restaurants, bars, and other entertainment offerings.
The casinos will subsequently be subjected to a flat tax rate of between 22% and 35%.
The bill proposes the creation of a system allowing international internet gambling companies to apply for licenses from the Hellenic Gaming Commission, the same regulatory body also tasked with the responsibility of licensing land-based casinos.
According to Kamil Ziegler, the CEO of Greek gambling operator OPAP, between €300-€500 million is being lost each year to unlicensed gambling operators. In event the new bill passes, research firm Deloitte predicts that the country stands to generate an extra €1 billion in revenue over the following four-year period.
While contributing to the overall economic situation of the cash-strapped country, the Greek government stated that one of its priorities would be to maintain ethical boundaries in both the online and land-based arenas, and to prevent economic desperation compromising the health and well-being of its citizens.