Tax Threshold Change in Greece

By introducing a tax-free threshold on small gambling winnings, the Greek government is attempting to protect the sales performance of its partly owned gambling monopoly OPAP, increasing tax receipts without hurting the monopoly's sales.

As the Finance Ministry said, in a legislative amendment to be submitted to parliament soon, OPAP players' winnings will be taxed progressively. All the winnings between 100 and 500 euros will be taxed at 15 percent, and those above at 20 percent, whilst winnings below 100 euros will be tax free.

The Greek government said it had obtained European Commission approval to scrap the 10-percent flat tax rate proposed in September. A 30-percent levy on OPAP gross earnings, also announced in September, remains unchanged.

OPAP is thirty-four-percent state-owned company. It is one of Europe's biggest gambling companies, worth Euro 2 billion on the Athens Stock Exchange, and it is the third-biggest Greek company by market value.

OPAP rivals like William Hill and Stanleybet, as well as trade bodies such as the Remote Gaming Association and the European Gaming and Betting Association, have challenged its monopoly and taxation regime both in Greek and European courts.

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