ECONOMY

Betting agents prepare to strike

Betting agents, who by law are all affiliated with state gaming company OPAP, are preparing to launch a prolonged strike from Monday, January 7, in protest at the imposition of a 10 percent tax on punters’ earning from the first euro, which applied as of Tuesday.

Until December 31, earnings of 100 euros and over were taxed at a 10 percent rate, while earnings above 1,000 euros saw 15 percent going into state coffers. The proposal to strike indefinitely, reached by the board of the agents’ federation on Sunday, will be put to a vote in Thursday’s extraordinary general meeting of agents.

The vote will be in favor of the proposal, according to board sources, who insist that the measure will wipe out the practice of punters using earnings to place new bets.

The agents are also protesting the planned privatization of OPAP’s 34 percent stake that the state has put up for grabs, and this may mean combined industrial action by OPAP employees as well.