The huge contribution of legal online gaming to tax revenues, but also the need to regulate the landscape, without exaggeration, in order to limit illegal betting, the representatives of the sector pointed out during a discussion in the context of the 9th Economic Forum of Delphi, which takes place in Delphi April 10-13 and is under the auspices of A.E. of the President of the Republic, Mrs. Katerina Sakellaropoulou.

The Deputy Minister of Health, Mr. Dimitrios Vartzopoulos, admitted that “the existence of taxation, since it is unfair, is at the expense of the activity and the state loses money” and added that “we must see internationally what is being followed, with the best results there as well let’s step on it”.

Referring to the psychological dimension of the gaming industry, he emphasized that “since it exists, it must be regulated, we cannot avoid it, because it can be diverted” and added that if it is regulated, it will also be socially beneficial.

Need for further regulation against illegal betting

Mr. Yiannis Kapodistrias, a member of the Hellenic Online Gaming Association, pointed out that the sector offers “over half a billion euros in tax revenue” and with the development of the sector with a regulatory framework “only the serious providers remain”.

He added, however, that “We are not yet at the golden ratio of taxation, so that we do not give fuel to the illegals.” As he said, legitimate companies recognize their duty to protect players by investing in systems to detect pathological behavior, but also financially support not only popular teams, but also unpopular sports, as well as Olympic athletes and charitable institutions.

Mr. Georgios Vassiliadis, Legal Advisor and former Deputy Minister of Sports, estimated that “without the help of the industry we would not have national missions in most sports”, but pointed out that despite the regulatory framework, “more than half a billion euros in taxation is lost from illegal companies”. He spoke of the need for a stable tax environment “without excesses” so that “we don’t treat the industry as the golden cow”.

“Together with the gaming control committee we can create a safe environment, with significant tax revenues and contribution to society”, concluded Mr. Vassiliadis.

Mr. Dimitrios Papadopoulos, Chief Operations Officer of the Gaming Supervision and Control Commission, underlined that we have the highest tax burden in Europe, while according to research the main motivation for illegal gambling is the tax on players’ winnings and the obligation to identify them.

“Any regulation cannot be exhaustive, as it will bring completely opposite results than expected” he pointed out and added that a new “permanent balance point” is being sought with the aim “to ensure security for the player and the market”.