Update on the Greek VLT Bill.
The Greece finance ministry unveiled the draft gaming law late last Friday. The draft details an international tender where each market participant will be able to acquire one license. An exception may be held for OPAP due to its monopoly agreement it has with the Greek government. Any unsold licenses will be evenly distributed to those that would already have received a license. There will be a 30% gross profit tax paid to the government on a quarterly basis. In addition, a 10% tax on players’ gains will be imposed both in VLTs and Internet betting. The minimum payout will be 80%. The gaming regulator that will be established will set up a live monitoring system to which every VLT and internet site will be permanently connected.
The ministry reiterated that the bill will earn 500MM euros (US$698 MM) from license fees and 200MM euros (US$280MM) annually from tax collections. Currently there are over 250 betting websites, ~20,000 slot machines and ~150,000 computers operating gaming programmes illegally in Greece, said the ministry.
What are the next steps (with tentative dates):
- Passage of bill in Parliament (Late 2011)
- Bill sent to President Papoulias for promulgation and publication in the Government Gazette (Late 2011/early 2012)
- Setup of new gaming supervising committee (early 2012)
- Tender process (2012-2013)