ECONOMY

Tender for Corfu casino

Hellenic Tourism Properties (ETA), the subsidiary of the Greek National Tourism Organization, is preparing to issue a tender for Corfu casino while also considering its permanent relocation. Currently, three scenarios are under evaluation: One is for the casino to remain in the hotel where it presently operates and which will also be bought by the successful bidder, or it will be relocated either to Achilleion palace or near the Gouvies marina. According to sources, the tender will contain a provision for the new owner to pay 20 percent of operating profits to the State. Presently, other privately run casinos pay between 20 and 30 percent. Meanwhile, the two ETA-run casinos, at Corfu and Mt Parnitha (Mont Parnes), are reportedly about to post improved results for the January-September period compared to the same period last year. Total betting at Corfu rose from 13.5 million to 20 million euros and turnover from 3 million to 4 million euros, although the number of entry tickets remained about the same at 43,000. And at Mont Parnes casino, the privatization tender of which the partnership of Hyatt Regency and construction company Hellenic Technodomiki was declared winner earlier this year, total betting rose from 200 million euros in the nine months of 2001 to 250 million in the same period this year. Turnover was up from 49 million to 60 million euros. The amounts bet in slot machines in Mont Parnes casino have been steadily rising in recent years, and have come to almost equal those bet on tables. The number of entry tickets rose from 314,000 to 346,000.