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France – Pandemic closures see French casino sector fall by 24.3 per cent

By - 15 February 2021

The French casino sector fell by 24.3 per cent between November 2019 and October 2020, according to figures published by the Central Service of Races and Games of the Ministry of ‘Interior.

With GGR coming in at €1,831m, compared to € 2,418m in 2018/2019, the pandemic took the French casino industry back to a similar revenue earned in 2012/2013.

Whilst the end of 2019 generated a decent enough year-on-year improvement of seven per cent, the closures forced by the pandemic saw the overall attendance fall by 26.59 per cent, with 24,572,229 admissions made.

Only three casinos, all with special circumstances, showed any improvement over the year with venues in Lectour, owned by Arévian, which was still in its launch period during the previous year’s results, as were the casinos in Amélie les Bains or Megève, owned by Casigrangi.

Philippe Ménard, Head of the Racing and Games Service (SCCJ), said: “The casinos of large groups have suffered more strongly than those of small groups or independents on average overall. Changes have taken place for the first 20 casinos, even if the top three remain the same .”

Enghien les Bains (Barrière) is still the leading French casino with a GGR of € 98.5m, down 39 per cent which alone represented the GGR of the last 62 casinos in 2018-2019 but of the last 52 in 2019 to 2020.

The next two casinos are also from the Barrière group, Blotzheim, in second place was down 17 per cent and Toulouse, in third was down 27.1 per cent. In fourth place, the Tranchant-owned Amnéville casino fell 22.23 per cent. Of the top 20 casinos, ten are operated by the Barrière group, seven by the Partouche group, one by the Tranchant group. The 19th and 20th are independent establishments, both located in Reunion, Saint Denis and Saint Pierre.
The four largest groups in number represent 111 casinos and take 69 of the first 80 places in terms of top revenue generating casinos.

At the other end of this ranking, the bottom twenty are mostly independents with small groups such as Arevian, Hirigoyen, SFC, Carré and Vikings Casinos, joined by casinos owned by bigger names such as Partouche, Joa and Tranchant.

Slots once more account for the bulk of the GGR, accounting 83.9 per cent of the total. Electronic table games such as English Roulette and Black Jack accounted for 9.9 per cent of the total. Traditional games generated just 5.7 per cent of the total with circle games accounting for 0.5 per cent..

A total of 21 casinos have withdrawn their English roulette tables with just 96 casinos offering the game last year. 198 casinos had at least one Black Jack table whilst just27 offered La Boule. French Roulette is now only present in five casinos. Electronic English roulette represents 89.1 per cent of the total for electronic tables with 195 of the 202 French casinos offering the game.

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