Greek Casino Gambling Shrinks 20% In 2011January 2, 2012 2:43 pm
Five years of recession and a whole host of government austerity measures has continued to have a profound affect on casino gambling in Greece, which fell by a huge 20% in 2011.
There is myth which states that in times of hardship more people will resort to gambling. However, in a country which is €350 billion in debt and where spare money is hard to find, Greeks have instead started cutting back on the amounts they are prepared to wager at the casino. As a gaming industry insider explains:
“But there is certainly a crisis here, and it’s getting deeper… Greeks still want to gamble, but without spare money in their pockets to do so, bets are a fifth of what they were previously.”
Consequently, Greece’s nine casinos have experienced three consecutive year of decline, with revenue in 2011 dropping by 20% to €2.2 billion, around €1 billion lower than it was in 2008.
Breaking the figures down further, turnover at Greece’s leading casino Loutraki was down by 18%, Regency Mont Parnes was down 22.7%, while five other Greek casinos saw revenues fall by between 3.5% and 25.6%.
Commenting on the worrying situation, an Athens casino insider was recorded by news source greekreporter, as stating:
“We are hoping for an upswing in the economy. If the crisis doesn’t ease we’ll also have to make staff cuts. We can’t predict the situation for everyone but it’s realistic to assume that casinos will have to reduce their costs and investments if the crisis worsens.”
This also spells additional bad news for the Greek government, which receives between 20% and 33% of the casinos’ turnover as state revenues.
In addition to a drop in disposable income for Greeks, other factors which are seen contributing to the decline in Greece’s casinos, are illegal gambling and the proliferation of electronic gambling. These factors have also impacted on revenue derived from games of chance, such as state lotteries and horse racing, which too have shrunk by 20% to €7 billion, from €8.5 billion in 2010.