France: Casino operator Groupe Partouche announces massive losses
The French gaming industry was hit hard last year by measures to prevent the spread of the Corona pandemic. Groupe Partouche, operator of 39 casinos in France, this week announced a total loss of more than EUR50 million for the 2020/2021 fiscal year.
Around 200 closing days for the casinos
The reason for the losses, it said, was the casinos' closures. They were closed for a total of six and a half months. In the previous fiscal year, the casinos had to close for only three months, resulting in a loss of EUR 17.4 million.
Corona-related closures affected casinos throughout Europe. The extent of the actual impact on the industry was analyzed by the European Casino Association, which presented corresponding data this week. Overall, casinos in Europe remained closed for an average of 150 days.
The longest closures were recorded in France. In Hungary, however, the casinos had to close with 54 days relatively short. With restrictions also expected in the coming year, state aid would continue to be required in all countries to maintain jobs in the industry and ensure continued tax revenue for state budgets. Because of this, more and more legal betting sites for cricket are opening up to move the gaming industry online.
However, in fiscal 2020/2021, which ended Oct. 31, sales were down 25.6% to EUR 255.7 million, he said. 82% of this revenue was generated in the second half of the fiscal year, he said.
Partouche CEO Fabrice Paire said, according to Le Figaro newspaper:
Last year we had over 200 closing days; the previous year it had been 80. However, when we were allowed to reopen under normal conditions, we continued as if nothing had happened.
Sales had increased toward the end of the fiscal year, but not all visitors had access to the casinos again. Thus, the uninoculated continue to be denied access.
Largest declines seen in slot machines
Overall, the gross gaming revenue, i.e. the difference between the stakes placed by players and the winnings paid out, fell by around one third to EUR 350.2 million in the past financial year. The biggest decline was recorded by slot machines. Their gross gaming revenue fell by 41.8%.
Gross gaming revenue from table games declined by 10.2%. Only table games abroad recorded an increase of 39.9%. This was due to the increase in online gaming in Belgium and Switzerland, where Partouche has a presence in the gaming market.
Once the health crisis is over, CEO Paire expects an accelerated resumption of normal gaming operations and a "healthy financial situation".