🎰 EU Says Greek Casino Admission Fee Wasn't State Aid - Law

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Aug 10, - The European Commission has concluded that the system of levies on admission fees applied by casinos in Greece until November does.


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May 25, - The European Commission has concluded an investigation under EU state aid rules concerning Greek casinos, finding that the lower taxation.


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Sep 13, - has conceded that state levied entry charges in Greek casinos between 19did not, after all, constitute illegal State Aid. In.


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Aug 10, - The European Commission has concluded that the system of levies on admission fees applied by casinos in Greece until November does.


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Sep 13, - has conceded that state levied entry charges in Greek casinos between 19did not, after all, constitute illegal State Aid. In.


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Phedon Nicolaides*. The General Court annulled the Commission Decision ​/ finding that certain Greek casinos had received aid that was incompatible.


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A now-expired system of tax at Greek casinos didn't constitute state aid, the European Commission said Thursday, reversing an earlier decision.


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Likewise, see SchΓΆn, State Aid in the Area of Taxation, , at et seq. final concerning the taxation of Greek casinos: All Greek casinos were in principle.


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Commission Decision of on State aid to certain Greek casinos C 16/​10 (ex NN 22/10, ex CP /09) implemented by the Hellenic Republic.


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It was imputable to the State and financed by State resources as the discriminatory 33 Aid to certain Greek Casinos (Case SA) Commission Decision.


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Was it granted to one or more companies? There are some exceptions to the State aid rule; for example, aid could be offered to attract investment in a particular area that is determined to be exceptionally deprived, but this area would have to have been already designated as such and the Commission would need to approve it. However, the licenses were issued by a tender process, so any bidder knew beforehand what the conditions were, including the level of entry fees demanded by the government. In the case of the entry fees to the Greek casinos, the General Court and on appeal the European Court of Justice found that not all four of the criteria were met. The final decision was handed down in October ; it took the Commission almost three years to withdraw the complaint. During the process it is not the company that received the aid that does the running, but the country; it has the job of defending its position and proving that the aid does not meet one or more of the criteria. This is seen in the US, where cities and states try to attract major employers like Amazon and Disney with offers of free land, tax holidays, and the like. What follows is a short explanation of State aid and why it matters. Apparently no. They believe that if this were allowed it would be a race to the bottom, with each country outbidding the other with incentives in order to obtain investment and jobs. The European Commission reviewed the case and came to the conclusion that making the privately-operated casinos charge more or, if you will, the state-owned casinos charge less amounted to illegal State aid. The amounts involved can be eye-wateringly high. Gaming: Analysing The Drift.{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} To stop Governments subsidising businesses in order to attract investment or to prop up ailing businesses, the 28 countries agreed to disallow any measure that selectively benefits a particular company or companies. Did the rule requiring a higher entry fee give a selective advantage? So it seems a bit churlish to complain about the fees 14 years later, not coincidentally when revenues were significantly down due to the economic crisis. If the country refuses to comply the Commission will bring a case in the General Court, a lower court in the European Court of Justice, and it can be appealed all the way to the highest court. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}The European Commission has finally decided to drop its action for illegal State aid against the Greek government in a case about entry fees payable by visitors to the Greek casinos. Very probably yes. Did it distort competition? Was it granted through State resources? When six new casino licenses were originally issued in , there were three existing casinos, all state-owned: Mont Parnes Athens , Thessaloniki, and Corfu. Shipyards and car manufacturers have been ordered to repay hundreds of millions of euros to Greece, German, Spain, Poland, and other countries. On the face of it, the reduced fees collected by the Greek government-owned casinos would appear to meet all four of these criteria. That is a phrase that strikes terror into the heart of any European business, and so it should. The background to the case is that each Greek casino, until a change in the law in November , had to charge an entry fee to every visitor, but the amount charged depended on whether the casino was originally owned by the Government or the by the private sector. So, what are the risks if aid that has been granted is determined by the Commission to be illegal? The Single Market is a common set of rules that allows all companies to compete fairly across the 28 soon to be 27, sigh countries of Europe. So in this case something might walk like a duck and quack like a duck yet not be a duck after all. Some countries do a better job than others of defending their actions, and some countries, having received the benefit of the investment and jobs, do little knowing that a company is unlikely to move away should the country lose the case and the company have to pay back the aid, plus interest. Government monopolies cannot use their favoured status to compete unfairly against other companies, even for business outside of the European Union. The Commission will order the country that granted the aid to recover the total amount of aid granted plus interest. The court focussed on the amount of tax paid, the third point above, and said that the lower amount paid by the government-owned casinos reflected the lower amount collected from each visitor. The State aid rule is one of the main pillars of European Union policy to protect that market from unfair competition. It follows that governments can distort competition as long as they do not use the tax system selectively to do so or discriminate on the grounds of nationality. All was well until , when the owners of the casino in Loutraki, some eighty-plus kilometres fifty miles from Athens, complained to the European Commission that this arrangement unfairly advantaged the three government-owned casinos.