The proof was in the pudding for French casino operator Partouche who, having recorded strong growth over the last year with income up by € 45.5m, revenue up and operating profit doubling, could now point to the success of two headline grabbing relocations last year as being pivotal to its success.
2017 saw investments made totalling €67.2m. These included the completion of La Ciotat’s PleinAir casino and the facilities for the casino within the 3.14 hotel in Cannes.
Perhaps its biggest gamble of 2017 was in closing the door on an absolute legend in Palm Beach Cannes, accepting its halcyonic days we’re over and throwing it straight into the competition of Croisette for the younger, yet more discerning leisure spend.
Too far from the city center, difficult to access in summer due to traffic, isolated in winter, the Palm Beach no longer met the wishes of customers. By deciding to transfer the gaming establishment in the center of Cannes, a few meters from the Croisette, the Partouche group was not afraid to meet the competition head-on with the casino Les Princes being a little more than 200 meters and the Cannes Croisette at one kilometer.
The casino’s interior design was entrtusted to Alexandra Ellena, who had already worked on the hotel 3.14, in a Feng-Shui style, for its opening in 2004.
For the casino, Alexandra Ellena was inspired by Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book, creating a chic and refined ambience, full of surprises such as a plant pathway to the ceiling, made up of almost a million feathers. Wood is ubiquitous, in various forms or furniture, such as restaurant tables made of New Zealand kauri, a thousand-year-old wood. On the ground floor, which offers 75 slot machines and electronic roulette terminals, a scenographer artist created an old garden atmosphere around the canopy, revisited by more contemporary codes. A canopy that is open most of the time, unless it rains of course. Part of the slot machines, those intended primarily for smokers, are housed out here in the open air.
In the summer months, just before the Cannes Film Festival, the terrace roof area welcomed a bar-lounge area, a terrace with traditional games tables, a renowned Lebanese restaurant, a poker room and an entertainment’s which was put to good use every night. The view is unique and 360-degree panoramic, from the hills of California to the sea.
The poker room is reserved for very big players, with tables of Texas hold’em and Omaha 4 high. But it is also possible to play English Roulette, Black Jack and vasious forms of casino poker on the terrace.
The 30 traditional game tables are not only divided between the ground floor and the roof. The first floor is home to exceptional private lounges, in a very cozy atmosphere, far from the sounds of the Croisette, everything is done to focus on only the game and nothing else.
The most astonishing and spectacular room has been designed by Patrick Partouche himself, with a lounge with a private Black Jack table, a poker table and a room equipped with the latest technological innovations.This suite is of course reserved for the ultra VIP guest regularly welcomed the French Riviera.
This notion of customer service is at its peak. It reflects the desire of 80 employees, plus another 100 for the summer season. Grégory Emsalem, General Manager of 3.14 Casino says his team is ‘at the ultimate service of the customer.’ “It’s a true family spirit that reigns here,” he explained. “We do not coach people, we accompany them.”
Seven months after the relcoation, Mr. Emsalem described the first financial indicators for the new venue as being ‘very positive and encouraging.’
« Last summer, we exceeded the results of the Palm Beach, in attendance and in terms of revenues for the games, » he explained.
Casino 3.14 generated a GGR of €13,550,439, marking a hugely welcome increase of 21.53 per cent over the year earlier figures from Palm Beach. Traditional and electronic table games accounted for 57.75 per cent of total GGR, up from 50 per cent a year earlier. The venue is targeting a highly volatile player. This year’s black jack revenue were down spectacularly by €518,000. Big bets and big players bring fluctuations after all.
Overall, GGR for Partouche was up 0.5 per cent in 2017 taking its total to €638.8 m. Current operating income amounted to € 36.4m, down € 4.9m, attributable to four establishments (the casinos of Aix-en-Provence and PleinAir in La Ciotat, the hotel 3.14 in Cannes and the Parisian restaurant Laurent) whose openings or relcoations brought a dent of €6.1m to the company’s operating income.
The 2018 financial year will see the continuation of the renovation of its casino estate this time in Pornic in the Loire-Atlantique region, where the new casino should be delivered in October. Work is expected to finalised on the casino Aix-en-Provence by the end of the year with developments also planned in Royat, Dieppe, La Roche-Posay, Hyeres and Saint-Amand-Les-Eaux .
Fabrice Paire, CEO of the group, said that 2017 had already been ‘a pivotal year for the transformation of some institutions.’
“By the end of 2018, we will have a third of establishments with an external offer,” said Fabrice Paire. “Fundamentally, whatever the region is, it is a real demand from customers. So when you build a new casino, you integrate terraces; and on already existing buildings, we try to integrate even small ones. Thus, in Berck-sur-Mer, even if we say that there is not the most radiant climate, we will make a terrace that will meet a demand, even temporary in the year. La Roche-Posay or Andernos will also have terraces created on building extensions. In Pornic, we will install one taking into account the climatic constraints and rainfall, with a roof, but open frontage, while in Palavas-les-Flots, the terrace will satisfy about fifteen customers who can to play while smoking: it is a plus, there is this expectation, even when it is cold.”