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CR82-p08-Europe CE&CIS1:SJC-Casino Review 26/7/09 10:48 Page 1
internationalcasinoreview
News
Podium result for new Ring Casino
The new casino at the Nürburgring opened at the start of July just ten
days before the German F1 Grand Prix returned to the famous
racetrack, bringing with it 250,000 visitors. Michael Seegert, MD of
EUROPE CENTRAL, EAST & CIS
operator Casino Bad Neuenahr GmbH, said: “We couldn’t have
wished for a better start.” The casino hosted many celebrities at its
60 machines and eight tables and at times had to turn people away.”
Liechtenstein brings
forward gambling bill
Another important step has been taken by Liechtenstein towards allowing a casino to
be set up within its borders: if a new Bill goes through, it will bring significant investment
and jobs and will also generate much needed income for the government.
alpineairing of the capital. There is a the public and in the 25- than one casino, no matter
LIECHTENSTEIN growing consensus among member parliament, how favourable the terms are
the country’s politicians however, as it was the for taxation. Casinos Austria
The tiny European princi- that they would much current opposition party would have to face a strong
pality of Liechtenstein, rather gaming revenues who originally put forward challenge from local busi-
sandwiched between remain in Liechtenstein the Bill before they were nessman Wolfgang Egger,
Switzerland and the Aus- rather than be exported. ousted from power in Febru- who has long been pressing
trian Vorarlberg, has begun “We want a clear legal ary, and the new govern- for the law to be changed. He
a consultation on the intro- framework for gaming,” said ment has decided to press already has detailed plans for
duction of a new Gambling departmental spokesman ahead, it is unlikely to face a a conference centre and
Bill, the Austrian Wirtschafts- Markus Kaufmann. The Bill is very rocky road. casino in Vaduz.
blatt has reported. explicit in its aim also to be a Casinos Austria is keeping He told Liechtenstein’s
If, when the consultation governmental fundraising a keen eye on the progres- Vaterland newspaper: “Of
ends on 28 September 2009, opportunity, saying: “Surplus sion of the law with a view to course the plans are now
the government decides to revenues will be skimmed taking the prize. A spokesman going to be followed up and
press ahead with the legisla- off by means of a special told the Wirtschaftsblatt: “If reviewed in detail. The timing
tion, it will be the first levy.” According to Kauf- the legal option is open, we of the consultation is ideal
change in gaming law in mann, the award of gaming want to be there.” given the current poor eco-
Liechtenstein since 1949; licences will lead to “invest- Given the several casinos nomic situation. This huge
piecemeal provisions have ment and positive side- within close proximity - construction project would
grown up in the last 60 years, effects” for the country. including St Gallen and St be very beneficial for the
mostly around the lottery. In The launch of the consul- Moritz in Switzerland and economy. And the state needs
this wealthy country, a tax tation process on the Bill one in Bregenz, the major new taxes to come in.”
haven, gaming is a popular does not necessarily mean town in Vorarlberg (all oper-
Decision time on new
activity either on the inter- that the law will change, of ated by Casinos Austria) - it is
gambling legislation for the
net or at one of the casinos course: there is expected to unlikely that Liechtenstein
Alpine Principality of
within half an hour’s drive be some resistance among will be able to support more Liechtenstein
Lower Saxony
Press come down
casinos will
on Hohensyburg
pay less tax
hardplace In the face of this, West-
GERMANY Spiel has been steadily
working to remove restrictive
Once Germany’s most suc- and expensive work prac-
VariableApproach bad as these. The company has had to cessful casino, Casino Hohen- tices that have not helped the
GERMANY cut 120 jobs already to try and stay syburg in Dortmund in the Ruhr casino adapt to the changing
ahead of the recession. Conversely, Valley, operated by WestSpiel, conditions. In June, the
The state government of Lower Saxony when the economy improves, the is weathering a barrage of crit- company withdrew from col-
has announced that the ten casinos casinos will have to pay more. icism from local press. lective bargaining negotia-
under its jurisdiction will pay less duty The package represents a com- A stream of negative articles tions saying that its offers
in the future in a deal that could save plete reform of casino taxation in about the way the casino is were repeatedly rejected by
the operator Spielbanken Niedersach- Lower Saxony: SNG will also be being managed has appeared the ver.di union and that given
sen Gruppe (SNG) E10m annually. granted allowances before the tax is in the newspapers over the last the economic situation, it
As the level of duty - currently 70 per calculated. several months, focusing on could not afford to continue.
cent of gross gaming revenue - is laid The agreement will also see SNG accusations that staff are being The management has
down in state law, the new arrange- withdraw a claim for more than E7m bullied by the management into also been trying to inject new
ments require new legislation: a Bill has compensation made after it was accepting less favourable life into the venue, including
been drawn up to put before lawmak- barred from setting up an online
Christian Wulff, First Minister of Lower
employment terms and being through lively “One Euro
ers but its passage through the state casino. When its parent company
Saxony, has agreed to alter the way
made redundant. Parties” in which entry, food
parliament is not guaranteed. If it does Casinos Austria won the concession in casinos in the state are taxed The casino is undoubtedly and drink are all priced at
succeed, there will no longer be a fixed 2005, an important part of the fee it suffering in the current eco- one euro. However, these
rate of duty but a rate that is staggered paid to the state government was in bling, one of the drivers of which was nomic climate and from sig- too are being criticised by
according to revenues. return for permission to operate an Lower Saxony’s First Minister Chris- nificant competition from slot local press for plumbing the
With GGR down by around 30 per online casino for state residents. It was tianWulff, all internet gambling offered arcades, where smoking is depths of good taste in an
cent since 2007 due, says the German to have been a model of licensed by private operators was banned. often permitted, and the inter- elegant environment.
casino association DeSIA, to the online operations and Casinos Austria SNG has not commented on the deal net. There is also competition Given the operational diffi-
smoking ban, the poor economy and spent a good deal of money develop- beyond saying that “solutions had been from its sister venue in Duis- culties, it seems that nothing
unfair competition, SNG would have to ing the platform. However, with the found” to its outstanding issues with burg which opened with WestSpiel does will attract
hand over less to the state in times as advent of Interstate Treaty on Gam- the government. much success in 2007. favourable press.
8 August 2009 • europecentraleast&cisnews
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