Casino situation did not improve in August

The new assessment carried out last month by trade union Casinos de France on 104 casinos (out of 197 being run at present) will not reassure the sector. Casinos de France pointed out last week that “the trend reversal observed since 1 January 2008, when the smoking ban was introduced, is now confirmed”.

“For the past 8 months, the decrease in the gross gaming revenue, in a comparable period and for an equal amount of casinos, has been -12.6%. Some casinos even experienced a 25% decline. Due to the fact that the clientele spent much less on leisure activities, the two summer months worsened this trend, which is becoming extremely worrying.”

In August, it seems that traditional games stood better (with a 5% drop) than slot machines, which showed a 13.5% drop. The widespread use of Texas Hold’em Poker tables helped to support table games. On the other hand, the decline in the use of slot machines is real and the drop in the GGR is even more magnified by the arrival of low denominations, as clients now buy gaming time instead of hoping to win on machines with higher denominations.

The trade union added that “this sustainable decline, combined with heavy investments and high taxation (State and communes), will not only cause job cuts but will soon cause casinos to close down, partially or completely”.

Casinos de France reminded the fact that “casinos employ 18.200 persons and are often the main employer in the commune where they are located (and one of their biggest source of revenue)”. The trade union “will ask the local authorities for regulatory and fiscal adjustments to try to sustain this activity”.

Finally, Casinos de France pointed out that heavy competition brought in by illegal gambling websites is an extremely harmful reality and reckoned that strict control measures should be set up before launching officially any online gambling activity.