ONLINE GAMBLING ASSOCIATION OBJECTS TO GREEK TAX PROPOSALS
02nd February, 2011 at 08:48:17
6% on turnover is just not viable says Remote Gaming Association
The ink has hardly dried on the Greek Cabinet's approval of its new online licensing and taxation regime (passed on January 27) and already the 6% tax on turnover is causing waves.
This week the Remote Gaming Association, a trade body comprising most of Britain's leading online gambling companies, issued a statement generally welcoming a more liberalised Greek market but characterising the proposed 6% tax rate as 'just not viable'. The representative opinion has been communicated to the Greek government.
RGA chief executive Clive Hawkswood says the association is in contact with the Greeks on the need for some of the provisions in the proposed legislation and its practicality, noting that there are concerns on whether some aspects comply with European Union law, a hurdle which the proposal will face when it goes to the European Commission for consideration.
Among the areas the association questions is the requirement that licensees have servers and a presence in Greece, and use a Greek internet domain. Hawkswood said clarity is also being sought on the licence tendering process - between 15 and 50 licenses for online casinos, poker rooms and sportsbetting operators have been suggested by the government.
Hawkswood described the turnover tax rate of 6% as just not viable in a highly competitive global market, pointing out that the French government has already made a similar error in imposing too high a tax rate.
The association followed up its submission with an independent assessment prepared by professional business services provider KPMG, Hawkswood revealed.
"The results are clear", said Hawkswood. "Only a gross profits taxation model will provide value for consumers, a reliable source of revenue for the government and a healthy competitive environment for the industry."
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