ECONOMY

OPAP opens fresh front with gov’t over new tax on gaming revenues

opap-opens-fresh-front-with-gov-t-over-new-tax-on-gaming-revenues

The government is set to clash again with gaming monopoly OPAP over the imposition of a 0.05-euro tax on all OPAP games except for online ones. The company announced on Tuesday it has resorted to the Council of State, filing a case for the suspension and cancellation of the measure. A similar case was filed by the OPAP agents to the country’s highest administrative court via their union (POEPPP).

According to the arguments used in their cases, the new tax violates both national and European law. The imposition of the levy allegedly constitutes taxation on the turnover of games, thereby violating European Union legislation that forbids taxing revenues.

Both OPAP and its agents also argue that the government’s objective – boosting tax revenues – will not be attained, as gaming turnover will be significantly reduced. OPAP also claims that it is impossible to technologically adjust its systems immediately for the collection of the new levy.

Sources close to the Finance Ministry on Tuesday referred to OPAP’s illegal position, arguing that the company is not complying with legislation. They added that the tax was introduced on January 1, and that filing recourse to the CoS does not lift the company’s obligation to the state. They also said the ministry will examine the possibility of imposing penalties in case OPAP refuses to pay the tax by the deadline set by the law.