Greek Gambling Industry Returns to GrowthPublished May 11, 2015 by Mike P
Greeks are finally beginning to see brighter days after years of economic depression. Figures reveal that the gambling industry returned to growth in 2014.
Struggle is a word that has been intrinsically linked with Greece’s economy since the Greek Depression began in late 2009. To stimulate recovery, Greece has attempted to encourage growth in a number of industries. Of those industries, it would appear that Gambling is playing a role in stimulating gradual economic recovery.
€5.9 Billion Generated in 2014
Data released by Greece’s Gambling Commission has revealed growth of 9% in 2014. Since the Greek Depression began, the gambling industry has struggled greatly. Before 2014, the industry endured five years of decline. The €5.9 billion of total revenue earned in 2014 is still far below the 2009 total of €8.7 billion.
Consumer data analysis confirms that an appetite for spending on gambling is on the rise once more among Greeks. In 2013, the average per capita spend on gambling was €172. A year later, the per capita spend increased by 7.2% to €187. Increased spending on gambling is a sign that Greeks are feeling more confident about the economy.
Dominance for OPAP Monopoly
At a glance, the Greek Organisation of Football Prognostics (OPAP) has been the greatest beneficiary. OPAP generated revenue of €3.8 billion, which equates to a 64% share of the industry, which is a dominating position to hold.
However, those figures must be viewed with scepticism. That is because OPAP is the only Greek operator with the right to offer betting services on football and lotteries. Restriction is almost always the determining factor in creating gambling monopolies.
Future Plans for Greece Gambling
Greece’s Gambling Commission generated approximately €525 million worth of taxation in 2014, inspiring the organisation to double revenue. Finance minister Yanis Varoufakis has told the Eurogroup body of economic and finance politicians that Greece plans to regulate online gambling. The regulation would break up OPAP’s monopoly by opening up the industry to foreign online operators.