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Greece's latest tourism industry news by Greek Travel Pages (gtp)

State Casinos Up For Sale Post Increased Profits

The state-owned casinos at Parnitha and on Corfu are expected to enrich state coffers by some 15 billion drachmas this year, Hellenic Tourist Properties said last month. The optimistic projection came after the casinos released eight-month results showing growth in both customers and profits.

Entrance tickets issued by both casinos in the January-August period increased by 35 percent to 310,000 from 230,000 in the same period last year, the properties company of the Hellenic Tourism Organization (EOT), said. Bets were up by 49 percent to 63 billion drachmas while gross profits from gaming activities soared by 53 percent to 16.8 billion drachmas.

Royalties accruing to EOT are estimated at 9 billion drachmas, a sum that is supposed to be used for tourism advertising and promotion. The properties company said it has already forwarded a portion of the royalties to the tourism organization.

The two state-owned casinos currently hold an 18-percent share of the market, up from 11 percent in 2000. Both are about to privatized.

Under the tender that was launched in early August, the government is offering the sale of 19.9 percent to 51 percent in the units. A committee headed by EOT’s chairman, Evgenios Yiannakopoulos, is to review the bids before calling for binding offers. Thirty-seven consortia and companies submitted non-binding bids for the casino at Parnitha, which includes two hotels on the premises, said Hellenic Tourist Properties.

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