Greece’s online gambling operators are making the government a lot fatter than their land-based casino counterparts, according to new official statistics.
Figures released this week showed Greece’s 15 active online gambling operators generated gross gaming revenue of €356m over the first 11 months of 2018, nearly one-third higher than the sum generated at the same point in 2017.
Greek online gambling revenue totaled €182.8m over the first six months of 2018, putting the five-month total since that span not far off the mark at €173.2m, suggesting that the market continues to enjoy strong momentum following the conclusion of the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Greece’s online market is currently dominated by a trio of operators, led by Gambling Malta, the parent company of Stoiximan, which claimed the largest slice of online revenue over the first 11 months of 2018 with €145.5m (+7%). Bet365’s local site claimed the next largest slice with €135.2m (+23%) and Sportingbet ranked third with €44.6m.
The online gains stand in marked contrast to Greece’s land-based casino sector, which saw its nine licensed venues report revenue of €222.8m over the first 11 months of 2018. Land-based casino revenue is on track to total €248m for the full year, down from €253.5m in 2017 and €262.7m in 2016.
Online gambling is also proving more important for the cash-strapped Greek government, which collected €124.5m from the sector over the first 11 months of 2018, compared to just €70m from land-based casinos. This is the second straight year that the government’s take from online gambling has surpassed land-based casino taxes.
The 15 active online operators in Greece were among the 24 so-called ‘transitional’ licenses issued way back in 2011. On January 15, the Hellenic Gaming Commision (EEEP) released its proposed new regulatory regime for online gambling, but gave stakeholders just 10 days in which to submit their comments. The deadline was subsequently extended to Feb. 4 at 4pm.