Greece Considering Casinos in Popular Islands Crete, Santorini & Mykonos

The Greek government is considering a plan to expand land-based casinos in the country. Lawmakers are specifically targeting popular tourism islands, including Crete, Mykonos, and Santorini. According to Tornos News, the proposal calls for three gaming licenses, while giving six existing casinos the option to relocate. The latter part of this bill is especially important […]

The Greek government is considering a plan to expand land-based casinos in the country. Lawmakers are specifically targeting popular tourism islands, including Crete, Mykonos, and Santorini.

According to Tornos News, the proposal calls for three gaming licenses, while giving six existing casinos the option to relocate. The latter part of this bill is especially important for Athens’ only casino, a Hyatt Regency-run venue (Mont Parnes), which sits atop Mt. Parnitha.

Here are some of the existing casinos that would be allowed to relocate if the legislation is approved:

  • Casino in Thessaloniki, Loutraki, Rio (outside the western port city of Patras)
  • Casino in Alexandroupolis (extreme northeast)
  • Casino in Florina (close to the border with Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia)

Plan is to Promote More Tourism with Casinos

A report accompanying the casino proposal states that the goal is to create better synergy between brick-and-mortar casinos and tourism. Other aims of this bill include decreasing the state’s share in gross gambling profits, improving the “casino resort” model, and providing at least one casino that’s linked to major hotels and shopping.

The Greek Parliament will vote on the legislation before Christmas. If passed, the bill would take effect in January 1, 2010 and give the semi-autonomous Hellenic Gaming Commission more say in governing the country’s casinos.

This draft bill would also impose a flat tax to casinos, with gambling tax liability ranging from 22% to 35%.

Another Step to Greek Economy Recovery

The Greek economy has not fared well over the past several years. And while their lucrative tourism industry helps keep the country afloat, they need more help in turning things around.

That said, creating three new casinos in major tourism destinations, and allowing existing casinos to relocate could provide a serious boost to the country’s economy.

 

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