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Greece Begins Privatisation of OPAP

This week Greece made a couple of significant announcements in regards to its gambling industry.

This week Greece made a couple of significant announcements in regards to its gambling industry.

First it was announced that the government has started selling shares in its gambling monopoly OPAP and secondly the finance ministry said that it had agreed on new gambling tax rates with the European Commission.

The Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund said that they will be holding a board meeting in order to launch steps towards selling 29% of shares in OPAP.

The board is also expected to announce the name of the winning bidder for a contract to operate Greece’s national lotteries for the next 12 years.

Greece’s privatisation program was put together by its international creditors to help with its massive debt and also to attract investment. However, the privatisation of OPAP was initially held up by the European Commission’s competition agency due to different tax and regulatory treatment of OPAP.

OPAP, which holds an exclusive gambling monopoly until 2020, has been enjoying a favourable tax rate on some of its gaming operations.

However, Greece’s finance ministry said that they have now agreed with the European Commission to set a flat 10% tax on player winnings from both online and slot machine games operated by OPAP.

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.

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