Greek Casinos Continue Downward Spiral

Greece’s economic crisis plus a spike in illegal gambling are behind the continuing downslide in revenues at the country’s nine licensed casinos, including Casino Loutraki (l.). The gaming halls have seen a decline of about half a billion euros since 2008, the start of the global recession.

Down 10 percent in one year

Greece’s nine legal casinos saw no reversal of fortune in 2014, according to revenue estimates provided by the International New York Times.

Turnover at the casinos in Loutraki, Mount Parnitha, Thessaloniki, Rio, Rhodes, Thrace, Halkidiki, Syros and Corfu amounted to 270 million euros in 2014, 10 percent less than the previous year.

In the peak pre-recession year of 2007, the casinos saw turnover hit 776.7 million euros. After that, it was all downhill, reported the Times. In 2008, turnover fell to 744 million euros; in 2009, 626 million; in 2010, 513.4 million; in 2011, 419.7 million; and in 2012, 330.2 million.

From 2007 to 2013, Halkidiki in northern Greece saw the greatest losses (92.5 percent), followed by Thrace, Syros, Loutraki, Rio, Thessaloniki, Mount Parnitha and Rhodes. Corfu has fared the best, with a seven-year turnover decline of “just” 27.9 percent.

Operators are bracing for a rough 2015 as well. A new law allowing video lottery terminals at betting shops will go into effect in the spring. To offset the expected losses, casinos are lobbying for an end to admission fees.