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Greece Pushes for Fast Track Regulation of Online Gambling: US Politicians Pay Attention

Written by:
C Costigan
Published on:
Aug/02/2011
Greece Online Gambling

Greece needs money.  Greece needs online gambling.  And the USA is in the same predicament.  We compare the two.

The troubled nation is looking for ways to boost its broken economy.  Enter legalized online gambling.

A report on the Quadjacks.com website notes that the activity could be fully legalized in Greece as soon as this coming Friday August 5. 

Perhaps the US politicians can learn a thing or two from the means in which this piece of legislation is expected to pass.  Greek legislators are looking to attach the online gambling bill to a must-pass finance bill.  Haven’t we in the United States been down this path already?  Oh yes, 2006, passage of the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) and its attachment to the must-pass Port Security Act that nearly everyone signed off on.

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This week’s debt bill in the US will result in a bipartisan committee set up to report on recommendations by the end of November.  Potentially, another debt-related bill could be passed during the lame duck session on December, which this past year was pretty active.  Could we see legislation regulating online poker attached to such a bill?  Perhaps. 

As for Greece, the proposed tax hikes are likely to scare most operators away.  PokerStars is already balking at the French tax policy as it pertains to online gambling.  Greece’ would be the highest taxation for the industry in all of Europe. 

How high?

A 30% Gross Profits Tax (GPT) on operators, this percentage is higher than any of the other current regulated markets situated in France, Italy and the planned new markets within Spain (20-25%) and Denmark (20%).

A 10% “players’ tax” on winnings seen by the body as a further disincentive to gamble with a Greek licensed operator.

There is a lucrative online gambling market in Greece nonetheless. 

- Chris Costigan, Gambling911.com Publisher

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