State aid: Commission concludes tax on admission fees to public and private #Casinos in #Greece from 1995 to 2012 does not involve state aid

| August 10, 2018


The European Commission has concluded that the system of levies on admission fees applied by casinos in Greece until November 2012 does not constitute state aid within the meaning of EU rules. Since 1995 all casinos in Greece have been required to charge a regulated admission fee to customers. Casinos then have to pass on 80% of the admission fee to the Greek state as a tax, while retaining the remaining 20% as remuneration for issuing tickets and covering expenses. Until November 2012, the general regulated admission fee was €15.

However, state-owned casinos were subject to a lower regulated admission fee of €6. Following a complaint by a private casino operator, the Commission opened a formal investigation into the differentiated tax levied on admissions to public and private casinos in Greece. In May 2011, the Commission found that the measure constituted incompatible state aid in favour of public casinos, and ordered Greece to recover the unlawful aid. This Commission decision was overturned by the General Court in September 2014.

The European Court of Justice confirmed the General Court’s judgment in October 2015. The Commission has adopted a new decision, in line with the findings of the European courts. The Commission has concluded that the differentiated tax levied on admissions to public casinos and private casinos did not confer a selective advantage to public casinos. This is because the amounts due to be paid to the Greek state by private and public casinos corresponded to the same percentage (80%) of the different regulated admission fees charged to customers by the two categories of casinos. In November 2012, the differentiation between admission fees for private and public casinos in Greece was abolished and a €6 admission fee set for all casinos.

More information will be available on the Commission’s competition website, in the State Aid Register under the case number SA.28973.

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Category: A Frontpage, EU, Greece