ATHENS – Desperate for every cent to offset a crushing economic crisis, Greece’s ruling Radical Left SYRIZA-led coalition is set to push through Parliament legislation that would move a casino closer to Athens and put others on the islands of Crete and Mykonos.
With a three-vote majority in the body, the government will get what it wants – barring defections – when the measure is presented Nov. 13 or Nov. 14 when Finance Minister Euclid Tsakalotos is expected to announce changes on the tax status of the gambling parlors and licensing procedures for online game services, Kathimerini said.
The main aim is reportedly to reduce the tax rates so that a casino permit at the former international airport site at Hellenikon – a project the developers said is being blocked by SYRIZA – will lure investors.
Elliniko – which is necessary for the development of the plot of the old Athens airport – becomes more attractive to investors. The government has realized that tax rates over 22 percent serve as a deterrent to major investors, while also threatening the sustainability of existing casinos.
Greek casinos’ gaming tax liability ranges from 22 to 35 percent, but the new system will likely have a flat rate for games across all of the country’s casinos, it was said, and entry fees are set to be eliminated to attract more customers.
The idea for Mykonos is to go after rich tourists who don’t mind dropping $1000 a bottle on champagne and would seem likely to spend freely in casinos. The government also reportedly wants to force Internet Service Providers to get an address in Greece so that betters will be directed to that page and come under the jurisdiction of Greek authorities.