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Greece Backtracks on New Gaming Tax

27th October 2009 8:45 am GMT

In a second postponement which could signal the end of the country's new gaming tax, the Greek government has said that it will not enforce a 10% tax on winnings from lotteries, games of chance and fixed odds betting, which was to come into force last week.

Greece's Ministry of Finance said Monday that it would go to parliament "as soon as possible to suspend the tax on gambling winnings," and immediately begin a consultation process "to find a rational and fair solution for taxing gambling profits".

Greece announced in June that it was to introduce a uniform tax rate of 10% on gambling winnings in an attempt to generate revenues of approximately €180 million for the government.

The move was designed to help reduce Greece's budget deficit by abolishing the tax-free allowance on earnings from lotteries, lottery bonds and gambling, and by increasing taxes on games of chance from 5% to 10%.

The introduction of the new tax regime was initially delayed in September by one month amid concern from OPAP and its agents that it would discourage consumer spending.

Shares in OPAP S.A. (Co. Profile) (ASX:OPAP), which lost more than 10% of their value on the introduction of the new tax regime, will commence trading this morning in Athens at €18.10 per share.

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