The German Casino Association DSbV has said that despite ‘massive corona-related declines’ it remained optimistic about the sector’s prospects in the coming year with its constant level of employment being a highlight. Revenues though have fallen back to the levels of 2015.
Gross gaming revenue of the state-licensed casinos in Germany fell by 10.75 per cent to €505.8m from €566.4m in 2020. Slot machines fell by nine per cent to €444.1m from €487.8m with traditional table games falling by 22 per cent to €61.3m in 2021 from €78.7m in 2020. The number of visitors fell to 2,456,580 in 2021 from 3,343,081 in 2020. The comparison with 2019 shows the consequences of the pandemic with the overall GGR still down by 41 per cent, with slots down 37 per cent and the table games down 62 per cent.
Kerstin Kosanke, CEO of the German Casino Association DSbV, said: “We had losses last year, like other sectors in the entertainment segment. The pandemic forced casinos to restrict business operations and temporarily send employees on short-time work. However, we did not have to close any business premises. And in the casinos there were no corona-related layoffs in 2021.
“After implementing all the requirements to protect our guests and employees, we found that hygiene concepts were easier to implement in the slot machine game than in the classic game. Corona also took a lot of the special charm here. It’s like any other social event – if only a few people are allowed to come together, something of the appeal of the shared experience is lost.”
“Looking back at our far better years, 2021 is clearly setting us back. But why should brick-and-mortar gambling be able to escape the effects of the Corona virus when it also affects other areas of classic entertainment and the pandemic continues to drive the digital transformation,” added Ms Kosanke. “Like any good company, we look back over several years to honestly reflect business development. We see ups and downs. And we are registering that our Corona result for 2021 has fallen back to the result for 2015. But we also got out of this trough and four years later reached our previous all-time high. We therefore rely on an optimistic perspective.”
Ms Kosanke added: “Not every industry is hit equally hard by the corona virus. THE BEACH-Sectors, Booking, Entertainment, Airlines, Cruises & Casinos and Hotels suffer more than others. In the pandemic, however, legal gambling is not as much in the public eye, unlike retail, gastronomy, tourism. The DSbV casinos, like others, rely on “opening perspectives” to allow safe gaming for guests and employees again. In 2020 and 2021, however, it faced more competition from online offers. Attractive and up-to-date offers will be decisive in the future. Casinos must therefore also go online in order not to be considered old school.”