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Lebanon – Lebanese government could offload its 52 per cent share in Casino du Liban

By - 15 July 2020

The Lebanese government could be about to sell its stake in Casino du Liban to boost government coffers following the coronavirus downturn.

The casino was forced to shut in mid-March following the coronavirus pandemic with the closure costing around $35m and $40m in revenue. It reopened on June 1. Just over 52 per cent of the casino, located 14 miles north of Beirut, is owned by a joint-stock company with government shares. Abela Tourism and Development Company owns 15 per cent with 32 per cent owned by a private investor.

The operator has been looking at ways to branch out with rumours of a land-based bingo hall and an online gambling foray both mooted recently.

Indeed this month, Casino du Liban launched a request for proposals (RFP) for ‘the implementation of an internet gaming platform with operations management to be based in Lebanon.’ It would offer ‘an array of gaming content from multiple providers’ covering sports betting, live and RNG casino, poker and eSports products.
Around 80 per cent of the casino’s GGR is derived from 15 per cent of its VIP/international players.

Mohamad Faour, a postdoctoral researcher in finance at University College Dublin, said of the casino: “These assets have untapped potential. Managing them properly can unlock sizeable income streams for Lebanon.”

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