What is the Gaming Commission's plan for mini casinos?The Authority proceeded with clarifications regarding the recent study commissioned by the Gaming Supervision and Control Committee to examine the viability of mini casinos in large tourist and hotel establishments.
Euro2day - Maria Moschou
After commissioning a study that will result in possible interventions for the viability of casinos and OPAP agencies, the EEEP proceeded with clarifications mainly regarding mini casinos in large tourist units.
In the announcement issued by the Authority entitled "EEEP investigates proposals and actions for the viability of the terrestrial network of games of chance (Casino, OPAP Agencies)" emphasizes that any interventions will be decided after dialogue in order to avoid reactions in the market.
"The aim of the EEEP is to contribute to the improvement and modernization of terrestrial games, in order to highlight their comparative advantages. The development and sustainability of the gaming market and its individual branches are, among other things, at the core of the responsibilities of the Gaming Control Supervisory Committee (EEEP)", he says in the announcement he issued.
"Especially with regard to the land-based gaming network based on the data we have at our disposal, sustainability risks are identified in the near future regarding: competition with online games and the worsening of their position due to the side effects of the pandemic. For this purpose, it explores a series of ideas and proposals, in order to propose specific actions. In this context, it has commissioned a study in principle on the possibilities of extracting additional income from the land-based gambling network, from the growing tourist traffic of the country. The study spatially focuses on region and not in the big urban centers" points out the EEEP.
And he continues: "it is obvious that the data of this research and any proposals of the EEEP that will arise, will be put to a public consultation with all interested parties. We should point out that these actions will in no way affect royalties granted to terrestrial network operators through licenses and concession contracts, as defined by law. Rather, they are to be found mutually beneficial solutions that will shape and ensure the long-term sustainability of the sector, for the benefit of the public interest, the companies that operate and the Greek society".
It is recalled that one of the solutions that the Commission is considering is the mini casinos which will be developed in the tourist areas in large hotel units.
The mini casinos which will not require an EKAZ license for their operation, will be specially designed spaces in units with high tourist traffic that will have gaming machines so that vacationers can access them.
The creation of such spaces will be done by casinos that are already in operation. However, they should be healthy without debt to the public and to creditors. And this is because they will have to support the initial investment which although will be much smaller than the establishment of a physical casino as no infrastructure is required.
However, it will be required to man the special casino room inside and to purchase the gaming machines. These casinos will be able to operate near the areas they are located covering areas where the distance would work negatively for some players.
Η PwC report expected by the Commission will include:
- The international experience, i.e. in which countries the measure has been applied and what results it had
- The control of the areas of the Greek territory that show particularly increased tourist traffic and could welcome such places
- The sustainability of these ventures and how profitable this would be both for the casinos and for the hoteliers.
The land-based casinosThe course of recent years is particularly negative for land-based casinos. According to the EEEP data, revenues decreased in 2021, compared to 2009, by 47%, i.e. from 8,7 billion euros to 4,6 billion euros.
In 2021, games conducted in casino businesses accounted for 3,87% of the total turnover (TGR) of all games, an increase of 34,34% compared to 2020, and 5,79% of the total gross revenue (GGR ), a 26,14% increase over 2020 which was the worst year for land-based casinos due to the pandemic