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France – SFC wins race to reopen casino in Lamalou-les-Bains

By - 4 January 2018

French casino operator Société Française de Casinos is planning to revive the casino licence in Lamalou-les-Bains, a commune in the Hérault département in southern France.

The municipal council of Lamalou-les-Bains (Hérault) decided on December 15, almost unanimously, to allocate the operation of the casino of the town to SFC. Two candidates were vying for the reopening of this gaming facility that closed in April 2016, after being placed in receivership on May 15, 2013.

The economic crisis had hit the casino hard. By the end of the fiscal year 2015-2016 it was generating GGR of €798.282, which placed it in 198th position out of 201 French casinos, even though it had exceeded €3m ten years earlier in the 2005-2006 financial year.

Lamalou les Bains was sold in July 2012 by the Joa group to an independent operator, Marc Martos, who was also the operator of the casino Amelie les Bains (Pyrenees-Orientales).

The municipality of Lamalou les Bains, the owner of the building, decided to relaunch, one year after the closure, and this summer, its gaming facility will complement its leisure offer. The property still has a thermal spa activity that has welcomed more 11,000 people in 2015.

In terms of catchment area, Béziers is only 40 km from Lamalou and in summer it is probably easier for locals to go to the spa than to go to the casinos by the sea. The SFC therefore relies on this proximity to attract the clentèle again to the spa.

The casino must undergo some renovation work, said Pascal Pessiot, President of the SFC. The date of its reopening will then depend on the date of obtaining the authorisation of various operating licences for its games which should initially include 40 slot machines, a Black Jack and an electronic English roulette.

SFC already operates six casinos in its own right (Gruissan, Châtel-Guyon, Port la Nouvelle, Collioure, Chamonix and Capvern les Bains and three casinos within the Société franco-belgian de Casinos (SFBC) with the group Circus , Port Leucate, Briancon, Carnac.

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