Painful financial report shows Greece needs some fresh changes on the gambling market.
Greek poker rooms and casinos have hit a rough patch. The latest financial reports show another decline in revenues, with 2013 being the fifth consecutive year when profits drop. Since 2008, when turnover reached a record amount of EUR 744.5 million, casinos turnover has gone down by 60%.
Last year’s figures barely reached EUR 300 million, which means painful losses for both casino developers and the state. It’s not just ownership and tax revenues that have gone down, as the state is also entitled to a direct share of casinos’ turnover according to Greek gambling laws.
Despite its potential, Greece has only eight proper casinos at the moment, most of them operating in Corfu and Rhodes and targeting tourists. Several gambling investors have shown interest in developing casino resorts in Athens, but local authorities have rejected their offers.
It is rumored that casino giant Las Vegas Sands is also discussing the option with Greek officials, after plans for their EUR 30 billion Eurovegas casino resort near Madrid fell through. So far, government officials have been reluctant to letting casino developers build in the capital city.
Recent changes brought to the gambling law and tax system are making it difficult for online businesses to develop, as the state takes 15% from winnings of EUR 100 or more and 20% on earnings of EUR 500 or more.
With casino revenues dropping on a year-to-year basis, the government should consider making some changes, to help boost business on the gambling market.