By L. Kalamara
The casino sector in Greece continues to struggle, according to first half 2018 results, with both the number of visitors, revenues and profits also down for the sector as a whole.
Adding to the local gaming industry's woes are accumulated damages from previous years, on top of arrears, such as months of back pay to employees and failure to meet pay tax and social security contributions.
Specifically for H1 2018, the number of visitors to the nine casinos in Greece reached 1.333 million, down slightly from 1.364 million in the corresponding period of 2017, a drop of 2.26 percent.
The "total casino drop", the revenue benchmark used in the gaming industry, reached 740.5 million euros, falling from 754.2 million euros in the first half of 2017, a decrease of 1.81 percent.
In terms of the "total casino win" figure, the total reached 116.1 million euros, down from 120 million euros in H1 2017, down 3.23 percent.
For June 2018, the last month for which figures are available, the number of people that passed through the nine casinos' doors reached 219,565, down from 211,487 in 2017, a reduction of 3.82 percent.
The total casino drop was 120.7 million, down from 122.3 million in June 2017 (-1.31 percent).
Conversely, the total casino win total was up in June 2018, reaching 19.3 million euros, up from 18.9 million in June last year (1.79 percent).
In terms of visitors, Mont Parnes' Regency recorded a marginal increase of 0.16 percent (H1 to H1); Thessaloniki's Hyatt Regency was up by 8.13 percent and Corfu was up by 1.9 percent.
At the opposite side of the spectrum, Halkidiki prefecture's Porto Carras casino saw its first-half 2018 figure for visitors drop by 43.3 percent; 18.29 percent down for the casino in the small resort town of Rio, outside Patras; and 12.21 percent for the troubled and debt-laden casino in the resort city of Loutraki, west of Athens.
Only Mont Parnes (on a mountaintop overlooking the greater Athens area) and the Hyatt Regency in Thessaloniki posted improved results in H1 2018 for the total casino drop and total casino win categories.