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Gambling taxes and law in Greece

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Taxes

Games of chance are an important source of revenue for the state.

The winnings from lotteries took place in Greece as well as gains from predictions concerning football matches (Greek: PROPO) are subjected, after a deduction of 100 euros on total gains of this activity, a tax at 10%. The tax is the responsibility of the winner (Articles 58 and 60 of the Tax Code of estates, donations and lottery winnings).

Gains from paris to a variable or fixed odds (Greek: stichimata prokathorismenis mid apothosis i) beyond 146.74 euros are subject to a public levy at the rate of 5%, retained by OPAP when they payment to the winners and paid by OPAP, Ministry of Finance (Article 2 paragraph 2 of the law 2433/1996).

The gross annual income from mutual paris on horse racing, except mutual paris said sweepstakes are submitted from 1 January 1998 to a public levy at the rate of 3% paid monthly to the state budget (Article 34 of the law 1326/1983 as amended by atricle 30 paragraph 8 of the law 2579/1998).

The net proceeds of lotteries run by the state Laiko, Ethniko, Europaiko Stikmieo and is paid entirely to the state budget. It is the same with the lottery Idiko Kratiko but its product is assigned wholly and exclusively charitable purposes.

The gross annual income from lotteries based on figures of the “Lotto” and “PROTO” are subject to state taxation at rates specified by Article 1 paragraph 3 of Law 2433/1996 as amended by section 30 paragraph 7 of the law 2579/1998, hereinafter:

1) 19% (LOTTO) and 10% (PROTO), paid by OPAP to the general budget of the State,
2) 12% (LOTTO and PROTO), assigned to the Ministry of Culture,
3) 2% (LOTTO and PROTO), assigned to the Department of Press and cummunication,
4) 17% (LOTTO) and 12% (PROTO), assigned to the General Secretariat of the sport.

The law 2206/1994 (as amended by Law 3139/2003) defines the general framework for the installation and operation of casinos in Greece and specifies in Article 1, paragraph 6, the various rights and revenues of state about them, as follows:

  1. a) A single payment of EUR 6 000 when filing the application for a casino license;
    b) The proposal to offer the state a minimum amount fixed by law and vary according to the installation location of the casino (p. ex. Euro 4,402,054, 29 in Corfu and 16,140,865 euros, 74 Mont Parnes), to obtain the requested concession;
    c) Participation in gross profits from games of not less than 30% for the casinos located in Attica, Thessaloniki, Crete, Rhodes, Achaia and 20% in Corfu and other regions. Regarding the Mont Parnes casino located in Attica, this contribution shall be 30% for annual gross profits to the level of EUR 200 million and 31.5%, 32% and 32.5% for gross annual earnings in excess of 200, 250 and 300 million respectively;
    d) A special annual fee of EUR 730 000 to be paid to the Greek State for the maintenance of a casino license, and
    e) Taxes, duties and emoluments provided by the law on limited companies domiciled Greece.

Furthermore, in order to cover its expenses, the casino business is entitled to retain 20% of the total amount of entrance tickets to the games room including VAT (current value of the ticket: 15 euros for all countries of casinos except for the Mont Parnes casino or she is 6 euros). The balance of the proceeds from entrance fees up to the state. In 2004 this source produced 23.676 million euros (Information provided by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, General Tax Directorate, May 3, 2005).

LISTING

LEGISLATION Enacted

General

– Constitution, Article 5, paragraph 1 (economic freedom)
– Civil Code, Articles 844-846 (Game and betting)
– Royal Decree 29/1971 (as amended): Consolidation of existing rules on gambling (OG 21 A / 01.28.1971)
– Act 2515/1997 Article 8: Technical recreation Games (OG 154 A / 1997)
– Act 3037/2002: Prohibition of gambling (OG 174 A / 30.7.2002)
– Act 3229/2004: Monitoring and control of gambling (J.O .. 38 A / 10.2.2004)

Lotteries

– Act 339/1936: On the State Lottery (OG 512 A ‘/ 11.20.1936)
– Decision EDKL / 04.26.1937: On the establishment of the National Lottery (J.O .. 80 B / 04.27.1937)
– Law 143/1967 need: On the establishment of the Special Lottery State (OG 165 A / 09.30.1967)
– Law 1947/1991: On the establishment of the State Lottery “Stigmieo” (J.O .. 70 A / 05.14.1991)
– Law 2433/1996: On the rules for the O.P.A.P. (J.O .. 180 A / 1996)
– Presidential Decree 250/1997: On the management, organization, operation and distribution of income to variable or fixed odds paris “play slip” (J.O .. 181
A / 15.9.1997)
– Law 2515/1997: On the establishment of the European lottery (J.O .. A 154 / 07.25.1997)
– Act 2843/2000 Article 27 paragraph 2: Modernisation of the Stock Exchange etc. (OG 219 A / 12.10.2000)
– Ministerial Decision 29154/2000: Approval of the Regulations of the functioning and organization of the game “BINGO LOTTO” distnctif bearing the sign ‘TELE-BINGO “by OPAP S.A. (OG 1417 B / 22.11.2000)
– Ministerial Decision 29155/2000: Approval of JOKER game of Regulation (OG 1417 B / 22.11.2000)
– Ministerial Decision 29157/2000: Approval of the General Regulations of the functioning and organization of the games directly online by OPAP S.A. (OG 1417 B / 22.11.2000)
– Ministerial Decision 29158/2000: Approval of Operating Rules and the operation of the lottery on LOTTO numbers (OG 1426 B / 27.11.2000)
– Ministerial Decision 29163/2000: Approval of Operating Regulations and the lottery operation on the PROTO digits (OG 1426 B / 27.11.2000)
– Ministerial Decision 29164/2000: Approval of Operating Regulations and operation of the SUPER 4 game (OG 1426 B / 27.11.2000)
– Law 2961/2001: On the ratification of the tax code of estates, donations and lottery winnings (OG 266 A / 22.11.2001)
– Ministerial Decision 31208/2002: Approval of Operating Rules and organization by OPAP S.A. lottery numbers on fixed odds SUPER 3 (OG 1474 B / 22.11.2002)
– Ministerial Decision 31209/2002: Approval of Operating Rules and organization by OPAP S.A. lottery numbers on fixed odds “5 of 35” (OG 1474 B / 22.11.2002)
– Ministerial Decision ST-55625/2003: Approval of the Regulation of operation and organization by OPAP S.A. lottery numbers on fixed odds KINO (OG 1913 B / 23.12.2003)

Casino Gaming

– Law 2206/1994: On the establishment, organization, operation and supervision of casinos (OG 62 A / 20.4.1994)
– Ministerial Decision No 1128269/1226/0015 / 16.11.1995: On the issue of entrance tickets to the casinos (OG 982 B / 29.11.1995)
– Presidential Decree 313/2001 Article 8: On the organization skills of the casinos Directorate (OG 211 A / 25.9.2001)
– Law 3139/2003: On the regulations Mont Parnes casino and Corfu (OG 100 A /30.4.2003)
– Ministerial Decision T / 6736/2003: On the settlement of administrative control and supervision of casinos (OG 929 B / 4.7.2003).
– Ministerial Decision T / 14704/2003: On the amendment of Resolution games in casinos (OG 1798 B / 4.12.2003)

Machine Gambling Outside Casinos

– Act 2206/1994 Article 4: On the establishment, organization, operation and supervision of casinos – Restrictions and prohibitions and penalties (OG 62A / 20.4.1994)

Betting

– Civil Code, Articles 844 to 846Loi 2433/1996: On the rules for the O.P.A.P. (OG 180 A / 12.8.1996)
– Presidential Decree 250/1997: On the management, organization, operation and distribution of income from paris to variable or fixed odds “play slip” (OG 181 A / 15.9.1997)
– Ministerial Decision 506/2000: On approval of the General Regulation of the operation of fixed odds paris (OG 18 B / 14.1.2000) –
– Ministerial Decision 29159/2000: Approval of the General Regulations of paris operating fixed odds games by OPAP S.A. (OG 1427 B / 27.11.2000)
– Ministerial Decision 29152/2000: Approval of Operating Rules and organization by OPAP S.A. game PROPOGOAL (OG 1425 B / 27.11.2000)
– Ministerial Decision 29153/2000: Approval of Operating Rules and organization by OPAP S.A. of paris game on PROPO sports (OG 1425 B / 27.11.2000)
– Ministerial Decision 291162/2000: Approval of Operating Regulations by, OPAP of paris set fixed odds RESULTS OF SPORTS EVENTS (J.O 1418 B / 22.11.2000)
– Ministerial Decision 29156/2000: Approval of Operating Regulations by, OPAP of paris set fixed odds RESULTS OF BASKETBALL GAMES (J.O 1427 B / 22.11.2000)
– Ministerial Decision 29151/2000: Approval of Operating Regulations by, OPAP of paris set fixed odds RESULTS OF FOOTBALL GAMES (J.O 1425 B / 27.11.2000)
– Ministerial Decision 2240/2001: On the charter obligations of OPAP SA to consumers (OJ 108 B / 2.2.2001) – Ministerial Decision 3726/2002: On the rules of the organization and functioning of mutual paris on Greece the horse racing (OJ 226 B / 2002) – Law 598/1968 modified necessity: on the establishment of the Organization of horse racing
– Act 1326/1983 Article 34 amended by Article 30, paragraph 8 of Law 2579/1998: On tax exemptions and other provisions (OG 31 A / 02.17.1998 and OG 19 A / 1983)
– Ministerial Decision 506/2000: On approval of the General Regulation of the operation of fixed odds paris (OG 18 B / 14.1.2000)
– Ministerial Decision 29157/2000: On the approval of the General Regulations of the functioning and organization of the games directly online by OPAP S.A. (OG 1417 B / 22.11.2000)

Bingo

– Law 2433/1996: On the rules for the O.P.A.P. (OG 180 A / 1996)
– Ministerial Decision 29154/2000: On approval of the Regulations of the functioning and organization of the game “BINGO LOTTO” distnctif bearing the sign ‘TELE-BINGO “by OPAP S.A. (OG 1417 B / 2000)

Media Gambling Services

– Presidential Decree 100/2000: On the Greek legislation tele-shopping and harmonization with Directive 97/36, 89/552 (OG 98 A / 17.3.2000)

Sales Promotional Gambling

– 2251/1994 (Amendment) Act Article 9: On consumer protection – Advertising (OG 191 A / 1994)

Charity Gambling

– Nécessité143 / 1967 Legislation: On the establishment of the special lottery of the state to charitable purposes (J.O.165 A / 09.30.1967)
– Law 2961/2001: On the ratification of the tax code of estates, donations and lottery winnings (OG 266A / 22.11.2001)
– Ministerial Decision 442/2001 (as amended): Statutes of the limited company forecasts Organization of football games S.A. (OG 23 B / 16.1.2001 and 343 B / 19.1.2004)

SELF-REGULATION

– Regulation of the administrative control and supervision of the operation of casinos (Ministerial Decision No. T / 6736/2003)
– Regulation of the organization and functioning of mutual paris on racing horses (Ministerial Decision No. 3726/2002)
– Charter obligations of OPAP S.A. to consumers (Ministerial Decision 2240/2001)
– General Regulations of the functioning and organization of the games directly online by OPAP S.A. (Ministerial Decision 29157/2000).
– General Regulation of the operation of fixed odds paris (Ministerial Decision 506/2000)
– Concession Agreement signed between the Greek State and OPAP S.A. 15.12.2000

BARRIERS

Overview

General

The State has exclusive management of gaming and refers participants to which it confers the exclusive right of the organization and operation of certain types of games. These include casinos, the organization predictions football games (OPAP), which offers games based on numbers and on sporting events and the organization of paris on horse races (ODIE) offering mutual paris on horse racing inside and outside of racetracks.

The law on the prohibition of gambling (3037/2002 law) prohibits, in articles 2 and 3, organization and installation of mechanical games, electrical, electromechanical and electronic in public places or open to public or private places . This prohibition is to prevent all games of chance whose stake is money. The Act (sections 4 and 5) provides for severe penalties (imprisonment of at least 3 months and a fine of at least 5 000) as well as administrative sanctions (a fine of 10 000 euros for each game machine and the final withdrawal of the company’s license) for all those who operate or run institutions or other forums in which are organized or installed forbidden games.

Lotteries

The state operates exclusively gambling. The Ministry of Finance – Directorate of State Lotteries – organizes itself and operates a number of lotteries (LAIKO, ETHNIKO, Idiko KRATIKO, EUROPEAN, STIGMIEO-XYSTO) for the benefit of its budget.

The net proceeds of lotteries Laiko, Ethniko, Europaiko and Stigmieo is paid to the state budget and constitutes a public income. However, the proceeds from the lottery Idiko Kratiko up to the State for the exclusive benefit of charitable purposes.

Sale of Laiko the lottery tickets is by Agents of the State Lotteries (Greek: Praktores Kratikon Lachion), lottery vendors (about 15,000 people) and representatives Agents said (about 5000 people). The 61.5% of the gross income will Laiko the winning tickets.

Lottery Ticket Idiko Kratiko and Europaiko is by the same agents and sellers as for Laiko and Ethniko lotteries. The 53% of the Idiko Kratiko gross income and 58% of Europaiko are distributed to the winning tickets.
Created in 1958, OPAP (Greek: Organismos Prognostikon Agonon Podosferou) holds almost half of the national market for sports paris. Since 1999, OPAP operates as a limited company under Greek law and listed on the stock exchange.

OPAP enjoys through licensing that bought the Greek State in December 2000 for $ 323 million paid in cash (Information provided by OPAP SA on 11.8.2005) the exclusive right to organization, management and operation of games of chance based on figures and on sporting events for a period of twenty years (Article 27 para. 2a of law 2843/2000 and Article 3 paragraph 1 concession contract). This license allows it to offer exclusive until 12 October 2020 gambling he was in charge of organizing in virtu of the law (Article 2 paragraph 1 of Law 2433/1996 and Article 1 of Presidential Decree 250/1997). This lottery games based on LOTTO numbers, PROTO, JOKER, SUPER 3, EXTRA 5 SUPER 4, KINO, LOTTO BINGO, KENO, ARITHMOLACHIO 5-35, SUPER SUPER 3 and 4, as well as those based on PROPO sports events, PROPO-GOL, STIHIMA for which cf. infra under “Betting”.

Casino Gaming

The establishment and operation of casino companies is subject to restrictions.

The 2206/1994 law on these companies provides in Article 1, the possibility of issuing twelve (12) licenses authorizing the establishment of casinos in the country to be divided in departments and specific localities, namely two (2) in the prefecture of Attica, the first in the area of ​​Mont Parnes Parnes in and the second outside the municipality of Athens; one (1) in the department of Thessaloniki within a zone of 15 km from the Aristotle Square Thessaloniki; one (1) in Crete, one (1) to Rhodes, to install in the Hotel des Roses, one (1) in Corfu; one (1) to the facilities of Porto Caras of Chalkidiki department; one (1) within the confines of the municipality of Loutraki-Perachora; one (1) in the department of Achaia; one (1) to the island of Syros; one (1) in the department of Florina and one (1) in the Doirane region.

The same provision allows the Minister of Tourism to award two (2) additional licenses to be allocated on a one in Thrace and a Epirus. The law specifies that for a period of twelve (12) years, no further licensing will take place. The transfer of a casino business outside the areas stipulated by the license according to law is prohibited.

The games allowed in the casinos are listed exhaustively in Article 3 paragraph 7 of the Law 2206/1994. They are: a) blackjack or twenty-one, b) the French roulette, c) American roulette, d) baccarat, e) the Bango-Punto, f) the dice, g) slots no screen, h) slot machines with display and i) the railway.

Access to the casino is allowed to anyone aged at least 23 years. The casino management has the right to intérdir access or request the removal of any person without having to justify its decision (Article 10 paragraph 3 2206/1994 Act).

From 15 December 1995 (by decision of the Minister of Finance No. 1128269/1226/0015 15 November 1995, OJ 982 B / 29.11.1995), casino operators have the obligation to issue a paid entry ticket, previously covered by the tax authorities, to anyone who visits the playroom where the slots or the tables of the casino is located. The price of this ticket is uniformly set at 15 euros (paragraph 5 of the decision) to all casinos in the country, with the exception of the Mont Parnes casino where the price is only 6 euros (3139 / 30.4 law. 2003 Article 1, paragraph 1 lit. g).

Machine Gambling Outside Casinos

Electrical machinery, electromechanical or electronic gambling outside casinos are prohibited. Since 2002 (3037/2002 Act), this prohibition also affects electronic games of skill.

In the absence of a specific provision to this prohibition, it is based on Article 2 of the law 3037/2002 which organizes the general prohibition of gambling in public places or in any other place and Article 3 of the same Act which expressly extends this prohibition to electronic games on computers in undertakings providing internet services.

Without authorization, the Law 2206/1994 (article 4) prohibits any person or entity acting alone or in association with others, to proceed with or without payment, to the establishment, operation or exposure slot machines or other means of gambling; to receive any kind of remuneration, commission, profit share from such means of any class; allowing, tolerating against payment operation, maintenance or display of such machines inside his home or place of work or in any other enclosed place or an open field in which it would own; sell, transfer or lease such machines for a pecuniary advantage.

These restrictions also extend to vessels flying the Greek or a foreign flag, of any type and capacity, while in Greek ports or territorial waters of the Greek State.

In its judgments No. 246/2004 and No. 158/2004, the Greek Council of State decided that the prohibition of electronic games offered in cyber cafes is contrary to the principle of proportionality.

The Thessaloniki Court of Appeal ruled in 2003 (Case 1114/2003) that recreational technical games, namely those whose outcome depends solely on the technical and intellectual capacity of the player, available in cyber cafes do not fall foul of the prohibition, even if they are offered on computers, provided, however, that no possibility of gain is at stake.

In its judgment 555/2003 (criminal cases), the High Court of Kalamata sentenced the owner of a cyber café for illegal organization of games because it offered, via the internet, games of chance on three computers, machinery he activated by remote control.

Betting

Created in 1968, Elodie (Greek: Organismos Diexagogis Ippodromion Ellados) has the exclusive right to organize in Greece horse racing and operations on behalf of the Greek State Mutual paris on these races to inside and outside of racetracks. The ODIE is a limited company under Greek law. Its organization and functioning are governed by an Internal Regulation subject to Ministerial Decision 3726/2002.

Section 2 of the Regulations strictly prohibited, on pain of criminal sanctions, mutual paris on horse racing made by anyone both within and outside the race tracks without permission from the ODIE.

Created in 1958, OPAP (Greek: Organismos Prognostikon Agonon Podosferou) holds almost half of the national market for sports paris. Since 1999, OPAP operates as a limited company under Greek law and listed on the stock exchange.

OPAP enjoys through licensing that bought the Greek State in December 2000 for $ 323 million paid in cash (Information provided by OPAP SA on 11.8.2005) the exclusive right to organization, management and operation of games of chance based on figures and on sporting events for a period of twenty years (Article 27 para. 2a of law 2843/2000 and Article 3 paragraph 1 concession contract). This license allows it to offer exclusively until October 12, 2020 (Information provided by OPAP SA on 22.5.2006) gambling that is in charge of organizing under current law ( Article 2 paragraph 1 of law 2433/1996 and Article 1 of Presidential Decree 250/1997). This addition sets of numbers based lottery (see above under “Lotteries”), those based on sporting events (PROPO, PROPOGOL, STIHIMA).

Article 2 paragraph 2 of the 2433/1996 law prohibits unauthorized public offering of paris on racing horses, individual games, sports variable or fixed odds or any other event which nature would of paris . This prohibition also extends to advertising. Violation of this prohibition is punishable by severe penalties.
The General Regulations of operation of fixed odds games paris (Decision 29159/2000 ministérelle) requires for participation in fixed odds paris games, use only the printed circulated thereto by OPAP and distributed exclusively by authorized agents of it (Greek: DELTIA Stichimatos). Participation in the Games by telephone (telephone paris) Electronic or other means (Eg internet, digital TV etc.) is prohibited (Article 1, paragraph 6). Similarly, on “DELTIA Stichimatos” must appear only games (football, basketball or other) organized by individuals or legal entities operating in Greece in accordance with the law (Article 1, paragraph 7).

Pursuant to Article 2 of the Law 2433/1996, the Trial Court Athens has granted, pursuant to the procedural rules of injunction, three temporary injunctions to stop their illegal advertising business to against three sports newspapers: FOS TON SPOR, and SPORTIME GOAL NEWS.

The Court ordered them not to do publicity for paris variable or fixed odds in any manner whatsoever on the entire Greek territory. She completed this ban by setting a periodic penalty payment of EUR 3 000 per offense.

Bingo

Article 2 paragraph 2 of the 2433/1996 law prohibits -except autorisation- the public offering of paris on racing horses, individual games, sports variable or fixed odds or any other event which nature would of paris. This prohibition also extends to advertising. Violation of this prohibition is punishable by severe penalties.

Media Gambling Services

Article 2 paragraph 2 of the 2433/1996 law prohibits -except autorisation- the public offering of paris on racing horses, individual games, sports variable or fixed odds or any other event which nature would of paris. This prohibition also extends to advertising. Violation of this prohibition is punishable by severe penalties.

Sales Promotional Gambling

Article 2 paragraph 2 of the 2433/1996 law prohibits -except autorisation- the public offering of paris on racing horses, individual games, sports variable or fixed odds or any other event which nature would of paris. This prohibition also extends to advertising. Violation of this prohibition is punishable by severe penalties.

Charity Gambling

The special lottery of the state (Greek: Idiko Kratiko Laxeio) is managed exclusively by the Ministry of Finance, State Lottery Department. Its revenues are used exclusively for charitable purposes.

According to its statutes (Article 2 paragraphe1E), OPAP must allocate a significant amount of its income on donations to sport organizations, cultural and social.

To fulfill this statutory obligation, OPAP spent from 2001 to 2004 amounts hereinafter. (According to information provided by OPAP SA August 11, 2005)

2001 EUR 8,728,550, 40
2002 EUR 10 324 117.31
2003 EUR 19 500 171.63
2004 EUR 24,398,993, 11

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