The French land based casinos have had their glory years but for almost 5 years economic activity has been decreasing and now has reached 20%. This is the result of the ban on smoking in public places, of an unprecedented recession and the legalisation of online gaming. So casinos have to really use their imagination to try to find solutions. The majority of casinos have invested in smoking rooms, gaming terraces, developing entertainment…They have also had to put new opening hours in place which allow them to limit the number of extras.

The casinos turn to Jean-Marc Ayrault

Despite all these efforts, business was slow to recover and the results for 2012 confirmed this. That is the reason why three casino trade unions questioned the Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, in a letter dated the 20th of December last: it was from the Modern French Casino, the French Casinos and the Independent French Casinos Association trade unions. These trade unions which represent the 196 French casinos wished to get Jean-Marc Ayrault’s agreement to use new games and to have flexible opening hours depending on the season. They can’t understand why their previous requests weren’t agreed to especially as it wouldn’t have any effect on the municipalities and the state.In their letter they criticised the two supervisory ministries and explained that they now hoped the Prime Minister could speed matters up and unblock the situation. Joagroupe has also posted worrying results. However its chairman, Laurent Lassiaz, has explained that this hasn’t stopped it investing massively. Two casinos opened in 2012, one in Montrond- les-Bains and the second in Seyne-sur-Mer and in 2013 another casino should see the light of day.

The French casinos hope to have a response quickly. One must not forget that they have created 15 000 jobs and that the municipalities as well as the state deduct large amounts of money. Their request will definitely be heard.