Entertainment budget revealed

Greeks spend 5 percent of their monthly budget on entertainment expenses, of which about a third is spent on activities such as sports events and gambling, the results of a survey showed yesterday. The study, prepared by the National Statistics Service (NSS), showed that the average household spends 90 euros per month on expenses which include the theater, cinema, sports events and pet care. The largest chunk (27.9 percent) goes to sports games, music lessons, cinemas and lotteries. Greece is a European leader in gambling stakes, at least according to statistics for 2004, which show the country’s most popular betting game – Pame Stoichima – boasting higher revenues than the equivalent game in Britain and several other EU countries. The second most popular choices are pets, toys and sports equipment, to which 21.3 percent of the entertainment budget is allocated. The percentage of spending allocated to entertainment and culture varies depending on each household’s economic and social class. Households that are close to the poverty line spend just 0.80 percent or an average of 15 euros a month on entertainment. Wealthier residents, on the other hand, allocate 15 percent, or 109 euros per month, to such leisure activities. Spending on musical instruments, boats and billiard tables ranked low on the priority list, taking up only 1 percent of the recreation budget. The differences between economic groups also emerge when considering reading habits. Low-income households use 12.5 percent of entertainment money for books and newspapers. The average figure for all households was 28.9 percent. The study showed that, during the survey period, spending on lotteries and sports events remained steady even among lower-income groups. The study was held from February 2004 to January 2005 and surveyed 6,555 households across Greece.