E-gambling gains ground

Greeks are increasingly embracing online gambling with nearly a third admitting to having had a flutter at least once in 2010, and 1 in 10 claiming to bet on the Web regularly, recent research by the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB) indicated. According to the study, 31 percent of Greeks visited one of some 250 e-gambling websites active in Greece in the first six months of 2010. Of these, 12 percent admitted to visiting these sites frequently. Online gambling is a growing sector in Greece, believed to be worth some 300 million euros, and appears to be eating into the traditional profits of the country’s more established gambling outlets. According to research carried out by Kathimerini last month, turnover in Greece’s nine casinos dropped by 17.7 percent to 469 million euros in the first nine months of 2010, compared to the same period inj 2009. Experts believe that e-gambling has taken an 8 percent chunk out of casinos’ profits and a 7 percent bite out of the profits of state gaming company OPAP.