A trade association for some of the iGaming industry’s largest firms has issued a legal challenge over Greece’s proposed gambling tax regime. While the Remote Gambling Association (RGA) welcomes regulation of the market, its argument is that operators shouldn’t be made to pay tax on retrospective revenues earned from Greek players from 1 January 2010 to the present day.
The group stated: “The RGA’s action seeks an annulment of the Ministerial Decision to introduce retrospective gross gambling revenue tax and a tax on customers’ winnings. The action is founded on the grounds that the proposed taxation measures are unconstitutional as they contravene the right to conduct a business activity and are disproportionate. Furthermore, the proposals do not accord with the principle that international treaties supersede conflicting provisions of Greek law.”
The action in the Greek Council of State is signed by RGA members’ bet365, Betfair and William Hill in the hope that they’ll have a rethink. It’s not the first complaint they’ve made either. Late last year it submitted two complaints to the European Commission concerning the Greek gaming law not conforming to EU law. They’ve yet to get a reply for either of them.
Clive Hawkswood, CEO of the RGA, added: “The RGA believes that the opening of the Greek on-line gambling market is a welcome step. However, the taxation regime proposed will create a huge and uncompetitive financial burden for potential licensees. There is no doubt that implementation of current proposals will see the newly regulated market fail to the detriment of the Greek government and Greek consumers. There is still time to amend the Ministerial Decision and for the tax rates to be reviewed and I hope the Ministry of Finance will be willing to discuss viable alternatives with us.”
In its current state, the taxation they take from the gaming industry will be far lower than projected and looking at other unfavorable regimes, like France, shows that operators simply won’t put up with it.