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France – Cost of operating alongside COVID 19 pitched at 41 per cent in France

By - 22 November 2021

The pandemic continues to affect gambling establishments in France where the gross gaming revenue (GGR) for the fiscal year November 2020 to October 2021 is just over €1bn, marking  a decline of 41 per cent on last year’s total.

Speaking to Journal des Casinos, Olivier Raineau, President of the employers’ union Casinos de France said the. financial year wasn’t only marked with the coronavirus epidemic but by administrative health closures, reopenings with social distancing measures which led to most casinos reducing their stock of slot machines and therefore reducing their turnover.

Slot machine GGR came in at € 920m, down 40 per cent, electronic table games generated €103m, down 43 per cent whilst traditional table games produced revenues of €58m, down 49 per cent.

Casino attendance was down 48 per cent. The cumulative decrease in casino GGR since before the pandemic is around 55 per cent.

The top-earning French casino remains Enghien les Bains, which precedes two other establishments of the Barrière group, Blotzheim and Toulouse. Aix-en-Provence, owned by Partouche is fourth, ahead of Bordeaux, owned by Barrière. In sixth place, Saint Denis de la Réunion, independently owned gained 13 places. Lille and Deauville both owned by Barrière, ahead of Lyon Vert, owned by Partouche and in tenth place, Saint Pierre in Reunion, which is  independently owned. The two Reunion Island casinos had almost as many closings as in mainland France, but not during the same periods, which explains their results.

Olivier Raineau emphasised that the aid given to casinos and businesses by the government has enabled gambling establishments to stay afloat. During the year, two gaming establishments closed, the Saint-Nectaire casino and the Joa Royale club, in Paris. Asked about the immediate needs of casinos, Mr. Raineau pleads wants a reduction in tax of 10 per cent on the gross gaming product, which would bring it to 35 per cent instead of 25 per cent. On the other hand, the profession has been asking for several years that the progressive scale on the GGR be reassessed, since it has not changed since 2008, which represents a difference of 13 per cent with inflation over this period. At the moment, the casinos do not yet see an improvement in their situation. Since the start of the new fiscal year at the beginning of this month, attendance is still down 20 to 25 per cent compared to 2019.

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