Situated not far from Fort-de-France, the Bateliere Plazza Casino is one of the two casinos on Martinique. It has 144 slot machines and a traditional gaming room (English roulette, American roulette, Blackjack, Texas Hold’em Poker). It is particularly well known on the island for its shows and the entertainment that it organises all through the year which saw it win in 2002 the International Europe Arc for Excellence and Quality. Unfortunately, the good years have fizzled out and the Bateliere Plazza Casino has being going through a difficult time for the past five years. This is due to the renewal of the public service delegation concerning the casino’s management which is not making any progress. Relations with the Schoelcher town hall have been frozen for the past two years and no agreement has been reached in regard to the regulations. In fact, the commune is demanding among other things that 15% of its gross profit on gaming be given to it, a demand strongly opposed by the director of the casino.So an atmosphere of uncertainty and anxiety has built up in the casino. The 93 employees fearing for their future have protested to show their discontent. By burning tyres in front of the Bateliere Plazza Casino, they caused many traffic jams and also drew the public’s attention by doing so.
For the Cogit Group which owns the casino, uncertainty around its future is increasing. It is well aware that upheaval within casinos such as the ban on smoking in public places, entry checks…have caused them considerable harm. Their only solution to save their casino is to invest massively to re-launch their business. However this is very difficult given the level of tax that the commune wishes to put in place.
The Bateliere Plazza Casino will know its fate on the 30 of June. It is hoped that an agreement will be reached. If not the casino will be forced to close, which will have serious consequences: the 93 employees will be out of work, the entertainers in the shows will not be employed, the surrounding businesses will suffer and the commune will lose a lot of money.