Malta Concerned About Proposed Greek Gambling Legislation

 Malta has raised concerns about a new European Union law which would allow Greece to implement gambling and lottery regulations. This has resulted in the postponement of the legislation for the time being.

A government spokesperson said that Malta has stated its objections with the European Commission about certain sections of the Greek law because it doesn’t follow the fundamental principles of EU legislation. However, the spokesperson wouldn’t comment further on Malta’s specific concerns.

The person did tell The Times newspaper that Greece let the EU know about the new draft legislation through the proper channels and Malta responded to the legislation with its opinion on it. It was reported that Malta has been the only EU state which has objected to the draft legislation so far, but the European Commission also told Greek authorities that it may not be acceptable.

The official said that some aspects of the draft legislation clearly don’t follow certain provisions set out by the EU, especially ones which relate to unhindered provision of services and freedom of establishment in the EU. The spokesperson said that Greece has been given until August 8th to reply to the objections, but if the response isn’t satisfactory infringement procedures might be taken against the nation.

One of the things the European Commission doesn’t agree with is the Greek proposal which states that any company that wants to operate in Greece, even if it’s just over the internet, will have to have an actual office based there. In addition, those companies would also have to have financial guarantees obtained from a Greek bank. The draft legislation also states that there will be a limited number of gaming licenses given out and there would be minimum capital requirements.

This doesn’t sit too well with Malta, as the country is keen to make sure the gambling market in the EU is as uninhibited and free as possible since many of the world’s top gaming companies are based there and employ hundreds of residents.

EU officials recently named Malta as the gambling hub of Europe due to the sheer number of online gaming businesses that are based there because of the nation’s favourable tax laws. The EU published a report which stated Malta was home to at least 500 registered internet gaming companies in 2008.

It was also reported that the revenue from gaming in Malta in 2008 represented a total of 7.82 per cent of the country’s GDP (gross domestic product) for that year, which was 11 times the 0.68 per cent average for EU nations.

0 July 12, 2011 By Stephan in News Tags: , , , ,

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