Gambling Licensing in Greece Since 2019 | Law&Trust International

For many years, the Greek market for online gambling and land-based casinos has been completely monopolized. Despite the fact that the regulation of online casinos appeared back in 2011, so far only 24 temporary licenses have been issued.

In 2019, the Greek online gambling market promised to finally introduce a new licensing regime, which resulted in many unpleasant nuances.

Terms & conditions

First of all, it is worth noting that the new licenses will cost 4 million euros for operators who want to offer online sports betting, while the right to offer other online gambling options will require an additional 1 million euros. Licenses will be valid for five years, with the renewal fee being equal to the original license fee.

Applicants must make a deposit of 500, 000 euro and demonstrate that they own a license to work on the Internet in another market of the European Union, as well as report on their previous financial results for the previous 3 years of work.

An entity which name appears on the Greek gambling blacklist within 12 months prior to submitting an application cannot apply for a license.

The requirement of the Ministry of Finance, not enshrined in law, to pay tax in the amount of 187 million euros was voiced.

Candidates must have their servers within the country and create accounts with local payment processing authorities. Operators must also run their Greek business through the dot-gr domain.

Taxation

A variable tax on the winnings of online players has been developed, which must be withheld by the operator for transfer to the tax agent. Winnings below 100 euros are tax-deductible. Winnings of more than 100 euros, but less than 500 euros will be taxed at the rate of 15%, while winnings more than 500 euros will be taxed at the rate of 20%.

In addition, 35% of taxes on operator income is maintained.

Land casino regulation changes

Until recently, the land-based casino industry in Greece was carefully regulated by laws 2206/1996 and 3139/2003, which, on the one hand, were characterized as fragmented and outdated, and on the other, needed to be adapted to the latest legislative changes in Europe. It also required a more consistent and unified legal framework that could enhance the competitiveness of the Greek market both at European and international levels. Law 4512/2018 (including the relevant amendments to Law 4582/2018) introduced an attractive regulatory, tax and legal framework that offers significant incentives to attract new investment in the gambling sector, namely:

Two types of licenses are introduced:

a) a casino of a simple type - the license is valid for 15 years plus renewal for 10 years;

b) a wide range of casino activities (resort or integrated casino) - the license is valid for 30 years plus renewal for 20 years.

The first tender according to the new rules

In 2019, a tender was announced for licenses with the new requirements. The applications have already been accepted, and the candidates expect that this year the monopoly will finally be violated.

If you are interested in obtaining a license for gambling in Greece, we recommend that you wait for the results of the current tender and prepare for a future tender for a license.

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