The pandemic meant that Holland Casino’s 14 properties were open for only 71 days without restrictions and with visitation down by 60 per cent to just 2.5m, it ultimately slashed 54 per cent off Holland Casino’s 2020 revenue which came in at €333m, resulting in a loss of €80.7m, down 190 per cent.
The operator described the year 2020 as ‘the deepest trough ever for Holland Casino’ although it added ‘Holland Casino has remained financially robust with a solid liquidity position and continues to invest strategically in its future.’
“Despite the constantly changing circumstances and major challenges that this crisis year caused, I firmly believe that we will get through it well,” said Erwin van Lambaart, CEO Holland Casino. “This is due to the resilience of our people, general government support measures, focus on cost control and a clear strategic investment vision for the future. Together, this has meant that we were always able to anticipate the consequences of this crisis. ”
The resilience of the employees is the most important factor which has kept Holland Casino afloat. Some of the employees have worked extremely hard behind the scenes to implement all the ever-changing government measures every time. For the large group of colleagues who had to stay at home for months, volunteer work and social online activities have been made possible. This has resulted in touchingly beautiful initiatives.
To get through the corona crisis and secure the future of Holland Casino, a restructuring was announced at the end of 2020. These are necessary, sometimes painful measures, such as forced farewell to people who have worked with heart and soul for Holland Casino. It has been possible to maintain more than 90% of employment.
The corona virus and the resulting measures had a major impact on Holland Casino’s financial situation in 2020. Despite the fact that due to the closures of the casinos, income came to a complete standstill during the year, while costs largely continued, Holland Casino still has a robust liquidity position. This is partly because from the first closure in March, a second closure in November and another closure in December, costs were tightly controlled and use could be made of the general support measures from the government, the NOW scheme and the postponement of tax payments. The casinos were completely closed in 2020 for 143 days and for 151 days they were open with restrictions, leaving only 71 days where it was open without restrictions.
Mr. Van Lambaart: “I am proud that, despite the severe financial headwind, we have continued to serve the long term of the company, especially in times of crisis. In addition to important investments in preparations for our online offer, it concerns, for example, the strategic cooperation with ESPN Eredivisie, which also includes a lot of attention for prevention and information, and the construction of our two new sustainable offices in Venlo and Utrecht. We are also investing significantly in our Compliance department, which further enhances the quality of our prevention and anti-money laundering policy. This is precisely where Holland Casino wants to continue to distinguish itself. ”
The operator added: “At the time of the publication of this annual report, the casinos are still closed. It is currently expected that the offices will be able to reopen with restrictions sometime in the second quarter of 2021. In addition, we are looking forward to celebrating the 45th anniversary on October 1, 2021. Holland Casino is a cyclical company and will therefore suffer from the expected economic recession. Nevertheless, the company is optimistic about the future. The restructuring means that everyone is in the right place, the organization is more efficient and agile, and there is a future-proof new structure that guarantees continuity.
“In addition, there is a legitimate belief that guests would like to visit the casino again,” he added. “In any case, a peak is expected at nightlife venues when the restrictions can be lifted completely. The interest in casino visits last summer also showed this and that is nothing short of hopeful. The hospitality and the range of safe and responsible play will continue to provide relaxation at the highest level for many Dutch people in the coming months.”