After six years of negotiations and two years of construction, Joa Group has opened its new Casino La Seyne sur Mer, in the Var department of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France.
Boasting two panoramic restaurants and a concert hall with 1,200 seats, the gaming floor only takes up half of the property’s 5,000 m² footprint, heralding a new generation of casino for what is currently France’s third biggest casino operator.
Built on the site of La Seyne sur Mer’s former shipyards, the casino has cost € 20 m and aims to ‘change the way people look at casinos’ by developing cultural and festive dimensions to attract a new, younger customer. There will be a greater focus on concerts, comedy and entertainment for children as it aims to attract 300,000 visitors each year. Taxation is set at 15 per cent of GGR which should equate to around €1m a year. It operates 150 slots and five table games with electronic roulette also installed.
Laurent Lassiaz, Président of Joa said that the new casino places a ‘tremendous emphasis’ on other revenue streams rather than just gaming, particularly catering, hospitality, and events. He highlighted the innovative, contemporary architecture of the buildings, which helps to announce its presence to the outside world. The interior design is also contemporary with the aim being to ‘target a younger clientèle rather than that usually frequents casinos.’
He said that at Joa, customers play casino games, dance, take a cooking class, organise a product launch or a fashion show, watch a boxing match, arrange a marriage or a seminar. He said the gaming floor had exclusive European gaming equipment and that a Joa casino should also be a place for customers who aren’t attracted to gaming and who want to consume the Joa brand as a leisure destination.
The venue is the 22nd in the Joa portfolio, pitching it in third place numerically behind Partouche and Lucien Barrière, a position Mr. Lassiaz is more than happy with.
He said that the group’s third place suited the company, stressing that Joa did not necessarily want to become No. 2 or No. 1. What it wants however, is to be noticed as an innovator. The group owns 22 casinos in France, employing 1,500 people and generating a turnover of €200m.
He does though see further expansion as integral to the group’s future, confirming it would respond to the tender in Marseille when it is be launched by the municipality.