Gambling Greeks make revenue soar at casinos

The state-owned casino of Mt Parnes is projecting a 47- percent rise in total wagers to 88 billion drachmas and a 54-percent rise in revenue to 24 billion in 2001, according to data issued yesterday by Hellenic Tourism Properties (ETA). The respective projections for the casino of Corfu, which is also state-owned, are a 14-percent rise in bets to 6 billion and a 13-percent increase in revenue to 1.8 billion drachmas. As a whole, casinos are expected to report a 5-percent increase in revenue from last year. According to forecasts, public revenues from the State’s share in the turnover of casinos and part of entrance tickets will record a more than 10-percent rise. Mt Parnes and Corfu casinos, which are slated for privatization, are expecting a combined 33-percent rise in the number of visitors from 338,000 to 450,000, but as a whole the number of visitors in all casinos is slightly down. The company is looking forward to cooperation with strong groups sharing the targets of the long-term investment initiative in the (Mt Parnes) casino and hotels, and possessing the corporate stability, credibility and the ability to pay the required price for the acquisition of a strategic share in Mt Parnes casino, said ETA in a statement. Business is expected to be brisk over Christmas. Customers will be able to place bets in euros after January 8. All the companies, with the exception of Agno, are profitable. For the 2001-2002 fiscal year (ending on June 30), Hellenic Sugar Industry forecasts turnover of 96 billion drachmas (281.73 million euros), up from 92 billion drachmas (269.99 million euros) the year before. Profit is expected to rise to 6 billion drachmas (17.61 million euros) from 4 billion drachmas (11.74 million euros) in 2000-2001. SEKAP is expected to be listed on the bourse either in late 2002 or early 2003. Turnover for 2001 is forecast at 30 billion drachmas (88.04 million euros) and net pretax profit at 500 million to 1 billion drachmas (1.47 to 2.93 million euros).