ATHENS: Greece’s biggest betting company OPAP, will pay an extra 70 million to 75 million euros in tax this year under new laws on gross gaming revenues, Chief Executive Kamil Ziegler said on Monday.
The former state monopoly, majority-owned and managed by a Greek-Czech fund since 2013, paid more than 600 million euros in taxes last year.
With an eye on the company’s 210 million euros annual revenue, the Greek government introduced a 5-cent levy on OPAP’s wagers at the start of the year as part of measures agreed with its lenders under an international bailout signed last summer.
Last week, Athens unveiled a tax bill that scrapped that levy, but it raised taxation on the company’s gross gaming revenue by 5 percentage points to 35 percent.
Addressing a shareholders meeting on Monday, Ziegler said the company had no choice but to pay it.
“If there is a law saying the GGR [gross gaming revenue tax] will be 35 percent, it’s not a question of accepting or not accepting it. This is the law,” Ziegler said.
“Of course, this 35 percent is by far the largest GGR tax in Europe,” he said.
OPAP was already considering how to minimize the impact on the company, he said, without elaborating.