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France – La Roche-sur-Yon looking at a casino due to ‘equestrian activity’

By - 18 September 2023

The adoption, last spring, by the Senate, of a bill aimed at allowing the opening of a casino in municipalities ‘with historic equestrian activity,’ has generated multiple interests on the part of the municipalities concerned.

La Roche-sur-Yon in the Vendée region is the latest town to have taken a position on the matter, through its mayor. Just like 12 other French communes, Roche-sur-Yon is home to a national stud farm, the Haras de la Vendée. Managed by the department, this stud farm is located within the Pentagon, in the heart of the Vendée municipality.

Questioned on the subject by the local press, Luc Bouard, the mayor (Horizons) of La Roche-sur-Yon was crystal clear. “If the project is possible, we will begin negotiations very quickly. For the moment, we’re waiting, but one thing is certain: if we have the opportunity to do it, we won’t be surprised! », he declared to the Journal du Pays Yonnais.

The opening of a casino would, thanks to the resulting tax revenues, contribute to the maintenance of these stud farms, which often proves costly for the municipalities. The bill also implies that the city is the headquarters of a horse racing company and that “at least 10 equestrian events per year, with national or international influence” have been held there during the last five years.

As reported by Journal des Casinos, local elected officials firmly believe in the benefits that a casino could bring to the city. “In Saumur, the mayor estimated the economic benefits at around a hundred jobs and 1.5 million euros in tax revenue. In La Roche-sur-Yon, we are in Vendée, in a tourist department, we can imagine much more,” said Béatrice Bellamy, deputy for the 2nd constituency of Vendée, speaking to the Journal du Pays Yonnais.

However, caution remains necessary in this matter. Because, although the bill has been sent to the office of the Law Committee of the National Assembly, it has not yet been included in the debate calendar. All that remains is for these eligible municipalities to be patient while waiting for an outcome that they hope will be a happy one.

The Vendée department already has five casinos: La Faute-sur-Mer (independent), “Les Pins” (Joa) and “Les Atlantes” (Vikings Casinos) in Les Sables d’Olonne, Saint- Gilles-Croix-de-Vie (Cogit) and Saint-Jean-de-Monts (Joa).

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