Greek government holds off again on gambling taxation

Greek government holds off again on gambling taxation

The Greek government's plans to impose a new 10 percent tax on gambling winnings have been further suspended, and new talks are scheduled on the measure following strong opposition from sales agents of the country's betting monopoly OPAP, the Reuters news agency advises.

The law, which was passed in July by the country's previous conservative government, was due to go into effect on October 21 after an initial delay od a month, which has now been further extended by the new socialist government.

"The finance minister will as soon as possible submit to Parliament an amendment to suspend the problematic clauses on the taxation of gaming winnings," the Finance Ministry said in a statement this week.

The ministry said it would soon begin consultations to seek a rational and fair solution on gaming taxation, but did not say whether it would reintroduce a tax-free threshold for lottery winnings, which OPAP agents are asking for.

The taxation measure, which had been agreed in a bid to help contain Greece's ballooning budget deficit, led to sharp losses in the monopoly's shares. Sales agents were concerned it would discourage punters from reinvesting their profit, hurting sales.

The law also scrapped tax-free winnings from lotteries and fixed-odds sports betting games.

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