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CR88-p10-europeW4:SJC-Casino Review 21/1/10 17:48 Page 1
Belgium to block foreign websites
Only Belgian-licensed gambling and poker sites are to be
allowed under new legislation signed into law in December.
Belgium’s new gambling law means that many popular
international sites will be blocked when the law is put into
effect this year. The move brings Belgium into line with
several other European countries but also potentially on a
EUROPE WEST collision path with the European Union.
Anyone listening to
business and long-stay hotel
European casino
The colourful outside of or ‘aparthotel’. (Incidentally
Viage will bring a new
Accor is a shareholder in
operators in
casino concept to
Groupe Lucien Barrière and
conference in the
Brussels, without using
the word casino.
the new man in charge at
last couple of years
hotel and holiday firm Pierre
will have heard how
et Vacances is former CEO of
Lucien Barrière Sven Boinet.)
the industry wants to The residential apartments
promote itself as
are all upmarket and well-
entertainment. The
known brands have taken
space in the shopping mall.
latest and so far “Viage itself covers eight
biggest expression of
levels,” said Webb. “We have
that will come when
broken down each level and
area and created new look
Grand Casino
and feel zones with different
Brussels closes
offerings in each one. We
and entertainment
want people to explore each
centre Viage opens
area - and spend in each area
too. People tend to look for
in February. the place where they feel
most comfortable and now
licencetothrill they have a wide choice.”
BELGIUM The Viage part of the
Anspach development is by
Viage, the vast entertainment far the largest - and its name is
complex in the centre of the over the door.
Belgian capital Brussels, is to “You don’t pay to get in,”
open on 26 February. Grand Webb continued. “There’s no
Casino Brussels, the tempo- entrance fee for the gaming
rary home of the gaming part. If you want to see a show
licence for the last three then you buy a ticket. There’s
years will close and an no registration requirement
entirely new gaming and for the rooftop restaurant or
entertainment concept will
be open its doors with other
facilities coming on-line a
couple of weeks later.
Brussels casino
the show theatre and we are
not marketing them as a lure
for the casino. They are family
places. We are happy if
“We will be opening with people come just for a meal,
a big splash towards the
middle of April,” said Viage’s
managing director Andrew
Webb. “We have been a little
licence to shift
or for a show or just to the
casino. We are really happy if
they want to try all of the
cautious about the opening Casino gaming will still be
date while we made some
changes to the product: for
the moment it’s all about our
brand awareness campaign,
into new mode
the major revenue driver for
Viage, said Webb: “We are
probably looking around an
80/20 split of gaming versus
getting the brand name out other revenues. In Grand
there and known on a Casino Brussels, it’s about
national level.When the name compromise on our non- tional big-name artists and 95/5 at the moment. Food,
and the logo is familiar, we’ll gaming operation as mere
Viage covers eight levels
musicians, some corporate beverage and entertainment
change gear to explain in add-ons to the gaming oper-
offering entertainment of
eventing and may even host will now be major traffic
more detail what lies behind ation. For us the quality of
different kinds on each one.
some live TV events as well. drivers for us, but will also be
the name and the details of the entertainment and food Basically we are positioning used as brand development
what we have to offer.” and beverage services is ourselves as a national and as reach-out tools.”
Viage, like Grand Casino equally important: 50 per resource and accessible to as Like all countries in
Brussels, is owned entirely by cent of the non-public, back- broad a range of the national Europe, Belgium has suffered
Casinos Austria International, of-house space is non- market as possible.” in the economic crisis and
and will be the first venue gaming, so it is only fair that Viage is located in the huge was in recession in 2009; it is
operated by the company we represent that in our development of the Anspach expected to grow weakly in
that does not include the brand and our name.” Center in the middle of Brus- 2010.
word ‘casino’ in its name. The range of diversions sels. The 32,000sq m project “I think in some ways if
“The fact that we have on offer is enormous from saw the block-sized build- you are launching a product
dropped the word is an indi- one operator. There is a ing’s Belle Époque façade in tough times, you are learn-
cation that we are moving formal restaurant and a more retained while the interior ing to be prudent from the
in a different direction as far casual venue, a sports bar as has been entirely recon- get-go, so you are not becom-
as European casino opera- well as other service bars. structed. Inside are com- ing complacent. You operate
tions are concerned,” said There is also a 1,000-seat bined the entertainment and in a leaner way than perhaps
Webb. “We are integrating events centre and theatre. gaming offering of Viage with you normally would and stay
more non-gaming and enter- The company will offer its a shopping centre, a hotel focussed on cost efficiency
tainment components into own in-house productions and apartments. The Adagio and the bottom line. And then
the project, more than as well as dinner shows, musi- hotel is a joint venture when the good times come
others might do. We have cals, a big band evening. between Accor and Pierre et again, you are going to be in a
also said we are not going to “We will also have interna- Vacances - it is designed as a much better position.”
startagain built, has fallen at the last for the project differed so mayor, Richard Camou. and would be rejected. The
FRANCE hurdle. much from the original The main change town is now able to restart
Viking Casinos, which tender requirements that wanted by Viking was a the process, and is looking
The plan by the town operates seven casinos in the town council has halving of the required to alter its terms for the
authorities of Villeneuve- France, was the only withdrawn the concession. investment in the venue: it project, however,
Loubet, near Cagnes-sur- bidder when the tender “It’s a real pity because knew, however, that this according to Camou, the
Mer on the French Riviera, was put out and won. we are being deprived of would be unacceptable outcome is entirely
to allow a casino to be However its final proposals new revenues,” said the under the original terms uncertain.
10 February 2010 • europewestnews
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