Greece's Gambling on Poker Tax

Greece's Gambling on Poker Tax

Friday, 20 March 2015

The Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis, made a somewhat ambitious claim to his peers recently when he promised to generate €500 million in tax revenue from online gambling.

Although Greece is currently experiencing a major financial crisis, Varoufakis believes he's done his sums correctly and that he can find half a billion Euros each year thanks to the regulated online poker and casino operators in the country.

While that figure certainly sounds good on paper, many commentators have asked whether the man in control of Greece's purse strings has got his sums wrong. As it stands, European states currently generate around €13 billion in revenue each year through regulated online gaming sites.

Of that figure only around 10% contributes to tax revenues, which means Varoufakis's annual target would be almost 50% of Europe's overall total. In reality, it's much more likely Greece will generate somewhere close to €30 million if it can implement a solid taxation plan.

EU reports from 2011 show that Greek-based platforms generated around €250 million in revenue (after deductions) which is already 50% less than the amount Varoufakis wants to tax. Moreover, the Greek online gaming economy is far from booming at the moment and as more legislation creeps in it's tough to see how the country can make anything like the figure Varoufakis is suggesting.

Tags: Greece, regulation