Jew-owned Casinos In Greece
Cohen, a congenial, French-born Greek national with a salt-and-pepper beard, gives me a quick tour. "Seventy tables, 600 slots, an average of 3,200 customers a day," he tells me. "Since we opened in 1995, we've had 5.8 million people come through these doors."
"Mostly Greeks?" I ask.
Cohen nods. "Gambling is a Greek passion. It's our Mediterranean character. They say the biggest gamblers in the world are the Chinese and the Greeks. The Chinese will gamble their wives away; we stop at our mothers-in-law."
The 6,500-sq.-m gaming floor is decorated with garish copies of ancient Greek frescoes and plaster statues on marble pedestals. At the tables, players are staring intently at blackjack cards and spinning roulette balls. They seem strangely sedate, considering the large sums that are in play. "People spend a lot of money on gambling here," says Cohen. "I don't know where it comes from. They bet a total of $4.7 billion last year. The average daily bet per player is nearly $500. Anybody in here would be considered a VIP customer at a U.S. casino. We serve free drinks at the tables to show our appreciation."
Owned by four Israelis, the casino is a lucrative business by any measure, with $118 million in gross income and $34 million in profits last year.