Casinos have to really use their imagination to attract players. After the November 15th 2006 decree was put in place banning smoking in public places and which became applicable on the 1st of January 2008, casinos have seen quite a drop in the number of clients. Added to this there is also a persistent economic crisis and the opening up of online cash games. Some casinos have been forced to make staff redundant and others had no choice but to close down.

However, the vast majority of casinos have decided to invest in smokers’ rooms, outdoor extensions. These casinos have even diversified their business by offering shows or themed evenings. Some managers have acquired new slot machines which only need very low wagers in order to attract a less well off sector of the population who up to then wouldn’t have visited casinos.

For some months certain casinos have been offering a completely new service. This involves transporting players free of charge. After Toulouse, it’s La Rochelle’s turn to offer a similar service. A mini bus has been put on the road to allow players to go to the casino and to return home. For the whole summer this free shuttle bus has crossed the city looking for clients and stopping at six defined stops from Mireuil to Minimes. The purple vehicle is driven by a “coach assistant” whose role is to take care of the players. This new service needs to prove its worth to be kept for throughout the year. For the moment it’s at the experimental stage and the number of clients is still low. This vehicle is used more by players to take them home rather than by players who wish to go to the casino. It has to be said that this shuttle bus has only been in place for two months and one must wait longer for word of mouth to work. Clients have to get information on the stops and timetables in the casino because there are no signs on the road.