By L. Kalamara
Casino sector officials this week expressed concern over a recently tabled omnibus draft bill that includes significant revisions to the law concerning gaming in the country, especially the licensing framework.
One of the main criticisms aired is that the draft provisions will create "conditions for a two-speed gaming sector", i.e. between new and old casinos, given the more favorable terms envisioned for new "players", such as different corporate tax rates. Additionally, another criticism is that specifications for the inclusion of already existing casinos in the new framework are extremely strict and burdersome, especially in light of the massive losses - as they claim - due to the ongoing economic crisis in the country.
One prominent example cited by current casino operators in the country points to the abolition of an entry fee for new casinos. For current operators to abolish the fee they must first receive approval by the state-run Hellenic Gaming Commission, the regulatory body for the sector in Greece, and pay a high compensatory fee to the state.