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France – Cabourg announces plans to build a casino and rent it back to operators

By - 28 October 2021

After a call for applications launched in October 2020 which proved unsuccessful last March, the city of Cabourg  in Calvados has decided to relaunch a new tender.

The first specifications included the relocation of the casino, still in the city center, with the construction of a 4-star hotel on the site of the Garage Palace. The new concession notice will move the casino out of the city. To give itself more time for this reflection, the municipality extended the current public service delegation last May until October 2022.

Tristan Duval, the Mayor of Cabourg, said: “We want to move the slot machines to a new building to increase revenue and gross gaming revenue for the city of Cabourg, knowing that all the cities that have moved casinos have had at least 30 per cent additional revenue in terms of gross gaming revenue. Professionals have always said that the Cabourg problem was a parking problem and that this had to be solved. “

“The first project around the Garage Palace, recalled Mr. Duval, did not find the approval of the operators. By thinking about it and looking at the opportunities that exist in Cabourg in terms of land, which are nevertheless quite enough limited,  the land which seems to us the most opportune is the one we bought in Normandie-Cabourg-Pays d’Auge and which is the second part of the site dedicated to the intercommunal swimming pool and which will allow us to have a coherent set of leisure and tourist infrastructures with pooling in the management of car parks. “

The future casino will be built by the city. The Mayor said the municipality was looking to resolve the stumbling block of any casino company losing its investment by the building being handed back to the town once the operating license.

He said: “Casinos have an obligation, even if they construct a building, to give it back to the city afterwards. For them it was a bit of a double penalty. They built, they financed and in the end, it was the city that got the key.  The Partouche group is in proceedings on this subject before the European Court of Justice and it did not wish, like the other operators besides, to respond to a call for tenders with this logic of good return, as long as the European court has not ruled.”

The city will therefore build a ‘building to accommodate a casino, of the order of 1,800 to 2,000 m2, on a plot of a little over 11,000 m2.’ Cabourg will contract a loan of up to €5m to finance the construction. The reimbursements will begin when ‘the casino operator will be in the premises and will begin to pay the rent which will be defined on the amount of what we will pay as interest and as capital to be reimbursed.’ The relocation of the license is not likely to happen before 2026.

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