The financial daily ‚De Tijd‘ reports that 2007 was a record year for Belgium’s nine casinos as annual turnover rose by EUR 15 million to EUR 115 million.
The rise in turnover continues the trend that started in 2004 when annual turnover at the country’s casinos was just EUR 43 million.
The opening of a new casino in Brussels has been a major contributory factor to the big rise in turnover.
Marc Callu of the Gaming Commission told the paper that the figures prove that casinos can make money even under Belgium’s strict gambling laws.
Callu added that the rise in turnover can by largely attributed to slot machines and increased interest in playing poker that has been fuelled by poker tournaments being held at Ostend (West Flanders), Spa (Liège province) and Namur (Namur province) casinos.
Just a few years ago, the country’s casinos were in a precarious financial position.
The four casinos on the Flemish coast at Ostend, Knokke, Middelkerke and Blankenberge and their Walloon counterparts at Dinant, Namur (both Namur province) and Spa and Chaudfontaine (both Liège province) had a battle on their hands to stay out of the red.
Most of Belgium’s nine casinos are owned by big international chains that have invested heavily in them in recent years.