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France – New operating laws approved for slots

By - 22 February 2013

A new law allowing French casinos to extend opening hours for slot machines even when table sections have been closed has been signed in by Manuel Valls and Jérôme Cahuzac, Ministers of the Interior and the Budget.

The new law, which comes into action today, February 22, rules that table games must be manned and open for at least six hours if a venue has more than 75 slots and for four hours a day if there are 75 slots or less in operation. Operators have welcomed the move claiming that tables have become labour intensive and costly to operate. Field trials testing the new operating hours for slots and table games have already been carried out at 11 casinos.

In 2012 GGR fell by a further 1.8 per cent prompting industry executives to campaign for the Prime Minister to introduce a raft changes, including the more profitable operating hours an easier approval process for new games and the option for more. There has been no mention so far of any change to the game approval process.

The proposed changes have been awaiting approval since August but with little movement the Presidents of the Association Casinos de France, the Union of Modern Casinos and the Independent Association of French Casinos joined forces to campaign for them to be introduced. They warned that the sector’s 15,500 jobs are now under threat having seen turnover fall by 20 in five years. Revenue from the country’s 23,000 slot machines dropped 2.5 per cent to €2,054m whilst revenue from table games actually increased by 5.25 per cent to €221m.

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