More and more, Greeks are accepting internet wagering according to a fresh study by the Athens University of Economics and Business (AUEB).
According to AUEB, one third (31%) of Greeks have confessed to visiting at least one of 250 identified active online gambling sites in Greece during the first half of 2010. A tenth (12%) professed to frequently wagering at these the internet gambling sites.
Internet gambling is a growth industry in Greece. Worth an estimated €300 million, the online gambling seems to be devouring the expected profits of traditional gambling establishments. Turnover within Greece’s nine land-based casinos diminished 17.7% to €469 million during the first 3 quarters of 2010, compared against the same interlude in 2009. With projections such as these in mind, it can be little wonder that 2011 Greek gambling laws may enable internet gambling to create $1.3 billion revenue.
Experts conjecture that internet gambling has claimed 8% of brick-and-mortar casino proceeds and 7% of the state gambling firm OPAP’s earnings. Coupled with the feeble economy, the Greek Government will finally privatize the lottery and sports betting monopoly OPAP and ODIE.
The Greek economy has been devastated by uncontrolled spending and exorbitant loans. Failure to implement fiscal reform caused the national debt to reach €300 billion after a €144 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the European Union (EU). Revisions to Greek gambling laws, which also include removing limitations on slot machines, are not only expected to help balance the national budget, but also to align the country with European treaties.