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Greece to Launch National Lottery to Cut Tax Evasion

Last Updated: Wednesday 12th July 2017, 14:08 pm

A national lottery is set to be launched in Greece, where players enter simply by paying for goods and services on debit and credit cards rather than by cash. The game will offer 1,000 prizes of €1,000 every month and it is hoped it will help crack down on rampant tax evasion.

Since the country’s well-publicised financial woes began, a cash-fuelled black market has thrived, as citizens attempt to counteract rampant inflation, cuts in wages and austerity measures. By offering an incentive to use electronic payment methods, government officials hope to make it easier to track where money is moving around the country.

Whenever a customer uses their card for a purchase, their receipt is entered into that month’s raffle for a share of €1 million. The game will be overseen by the Greek treasury and each of the thousand winners will have the cash transferred directly into their bank account. However, anyone who owes outstanding taxes will have them subtracted from their winnings.  

The government in Athens is so keen to move shoppers away from cash that it recently compelled 200,000 small and medium businesses across Greece to install card terminals.

A similar scheme was set to launch this year in Italy, aimed at encouraging customers to demand receipts in shops. However, the Corriere della Sera newspaper reported this week that the ‘Receipt Lottery’ may not roll out across the country until 2019.

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