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Greece – Smoking ban sends Greek casino revenues plunging

By - 11 February 2020

The Greek casino market generated GGR of €54.5m in the final three months of 2019, marking a fall of 17.2 per cent from the same period in 2018, according to official figures from Greece’s Hellenic Gaming Commission.

A ban on smoking in public indoor areas as introduced in mid-October with an alarming, immediate impact with October’s revenues down 2.6 per cent, November’s falling by 19.3 per cent and December’s plunging by 27.7 per cent.

Greece has the highest smoking rate in the European Union. Revenues going into 2020 will also be impacted by the temporary suspension of two casinos for not paying tax.

The Hellenic Gaming Commission announced the decision to shut down the Rio and Casino Thraki in Alexandroupoli, both owned by Greek businessman Konstantinos Piladakis, at the start of February due to unpaid debts to the Single Social Security Entity (EFKA). The Rio casino needs to pay over €25m, while the Alexandroupoli owes €12.5m.

The Commission will also impose fines on casinos in Corfu and Loutraki, both of which were fined after settling their debts.

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