BUSINESS

Crunch year has started for the casinos in Attica and Loutraki

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Tourism, Business

This year is seen as crucial for the casinos in Attica and in nearby Loutraki, as developments that are already under way are set to radically change the landscape, especially with the upcoming the license for the Elliniko casino coming up.

The arrival of a major international casino management company at the southern Athens plot, along with the transfer of Mount Parnitha’s casino to Athens’s northern suburbs (at Kalogreza), and the streamlining of the Loutraki casino with the entry of a foreign investor, create the potential for a far greater market than the existing one.

This would be a market that could benefit from the increase in Athens tourism, while also adding its own visitor inflow of visitors, according to experts.

Apart from the development of the old Athens airport plot at Elliniko, these developments have been triggered by changes to the tax framework of Greek casinos. Law 4512 passed in 2018 introduced a new licensing system according to which the holding or revenue collected by the state is set at 20 percent of gross gaming revenues (GGR) if they do not exceed 100 million euros, and down to 18 percent for casinos – which have greater turnovers – from the previous level of 22 percent.

The introduction of staggered rates has also come to benefit higher turnovers, giving casino managements the incentive to promote their enterprises abroad and bring in foreign punters, as well as to implement major investments so as to hold on to their clients.

The total number of visitors at Greek casinos in 2017 came to 2,456,549 and turnover reached 1.58 billion euros. This compares with 3.1 billion euros staked in 2008. Although the official figures for 2018 will take some time to be released, it is estimated that last year’s turnover will be similar to that of 2017. The country’s three major casinos – at Parnitha, Thessaloniki and Loutraki – are responsible for more than 80 percent of the local market’s revenues.
 

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