ECONOMY

Casino turnover drops as alternative gambling grows

The decline in the annual turnover of Greece?s nine casinos continued for the third year in succession in 2011.

In the period from January to November 2011 the total turnover of casinos dropped by 18.5 percent from the same period in 2010, adding up to 382.2 million euros.

Last year?s drop came on top of the market?s shrinking by 17.7 percent in 2010 and 16 percent in 2009. The total number of entrance tickets dropped by 5.5 percent from 2010, to just over 2.6 million.

This development in the financial results of casinos has also had a negative impact on state revenues, as besides corporate tax, the state receives between 20 and 33 percent of casinos? turnover.

The decline is attributed to the drop in the disposable income of Greeks, to the proliferation of illegal gambling and to the uncontrolled expansion of electronic gambling.

Market experts point at the similarly negative picture in games of chance such as state lotteries, racing etc., busting the myth of people resorting to gambling in times of crisis.

Data show that the turnover of the games of chance in Greece contracted by about 20 percent in 2011, dropping to 7 billion euros from 8.5 billion in 2010. State gaming company OPAP saw its revenues contract by 17 percent in the year to September annually.