Lady luck fails to shine on casinos

For Greece?s nine casinos, 2011 was the third year of a bad run, with turnover slumping 18.2 percent in comparison with 2010, to reach 419.7 million euros.

Bets also dropped in 2011, though not quite as steeply, at a rate of 13.4 percent and amounting to 2.24 billion euros, while revenues from admission fees were down by 5.2 percent at 2.911 euros.

Significantly, a blow to the casinos? performance also means a blow to revenues accrued from them by the state, as the latter not only extracts taxes from the establishments but also receives a percentage of between 20 and 33 percent of their turnover.

It is worth noting that in the 17 years that private casinos have been in operation in Greece, their turnover is estimated to have exceeded 7 billions euros and bets 30 billion euros.

In 2009, casinos? turnover shrank by 16 percent to reach 626 million euros and bets were down by 11 percent at 2.84 billion euros.

The following year, in 2010, turnover shrank by 18 percent to 513.4 million euros and bets slumped by 8.9 percent to 2.6 billion euros. Tickets last year also experienced a drop, of 7.2 percent, generating revenues of 3.069 euros.

The casinos? managers attribute the reduction in business to the economic crisis, but also to the proliferation of illegal gambling and the absence of regulations curbing the penetration of online gambling.

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