France has 197 gambling establishments, and for a year they have really been sticking their tongue out. The financial crisis has passed through there and has done great damage because casino players are now broke. According to the testimonies collected, the players play less for money and especially they come less often in terms of frequentations of the casinos.
But the ones who hit the Jackpot every time are the state and of course the municipalities that without doing anything pocket half of the gross proceeds from casino games. This represents in value, 1.5 billion euros just for the last year. So the big casinos strike back, if they are not less punished by the state, they threaten to close gambling establishments. How did we get there, how are they coping with this unprecedented crisis?
Discovering the Barbazan casino
One hour from Toulouse, we are going to discover Barbazan, a quiet little town of 450 inhabitants of Haute-Garonne and you will not believe it, but this tiny village has its own gaming casino. Normal because it is a spa resort which, along with the seaside towns, are the only ones to have the right to have a casino. And you will see it, here is slot machine heaven. But as one player sitting in front of the slot machines points out, he plays a lot less than before and also comes less often.
Since the beginning of the year, the director of this small country gaming casino has been telling us that with the drop in attendance he is having trouble making his establishment work, and today, to put it simply, nearly half of its turnover. business goes directly to the state coffers. So the casino operators are asking for a 10% tax rebate from the state, so they can hold out. Because according to the director of this casino, this would allow casino operators to get through the crisis without risking going out of business.
All while thinking of the 35 families who live thanks to this casino. If the Barbazan casino were to close it would be a disaster for the employees of this Barbazan casino, many of whom come from the surrounding villages and who went into debt to buy their house.
If the state earns a lot of money, the municipalities also deserve their share of the pie, in 6 years the small rural municipality of Barbazan has prospered well. Already this has attracted more than 100 additional inhabitants, but according to the words of the first magistrate of the city, now in Barbazan, we are rolling on gold! Road works, renovations to the facade of the church, new tourist office, and the highlight, a future thalassotherapy complex.
The town hall spent lavishly to buy the old abandoned spa complex with its huge park. All this could not have happened without the financial windfall of the Barbazan casino. In fact, the casino’s money is 300,000 euros, or more than half of the municipal budget. But this year the mayor will have to do with 100,000 euros less at least, this is due to the crisis. No more spending it lavishly and it is not only at the Barbezan casino that this is the case, even the big casinos like in Cannes are no exception.
Cannes its Croisette, its yachts, its luxury hotels and its 3 casinos, if the sun continues to shine as usual, the atmosphere in the casino’s gaming rooms is rather gloomy. At the Partouche casino, which is the number one casino, the situation is even more than tense. Seeing the empty aisles on a Saturday night, it’s very far from feverish. According to the director of the Casino Partouche, this establishment is losing money. The manager is however very caring with the few players in the casino and who are often regulars.
End of an era
And yes, casinos are not what they used to be, no smoking, systematic identity checks on entry and of course the financial crisis. At the Palm Beach to retain customers we do not know what to invent, and we have seen slot machines appear at 50 cents, 10 cents and even 1 euro cent! For casino operators, there are no small profits. With slot machines 50 or even 100 times less profitable, that doesn’t help City Hall’s business either.
When we know that the city of Cannes receives 15% of gross gaming revenue! But because of the crisis the city of Cannes, which used to do with more than 14 million euros from casinos, this year Cannes will receive “only” 10 million euros. So the mayor is preparing to make restrictions. Retired municipal employees not replaced, and all-out restrictions.
Each year casino games bring more than 1.5 billion euros to the budget of France. And the biggest contributors are the casi