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CR88-p06-europeW2:SJC-Casino Review 21/1/10 17:44 Page 1
internationalcasinoreview
Record crowds see in 2010 in Lisbon
Despite the downturn in the Portuguese sector, Casino Lisboa received a record number of
News
visitors on New Year’s, having more than 18,000 revelers passing through its venue.
The downturn also wasn’t felt at all by the casino’s customer base in 2009 with the Lisbon
Casino paying out more than E312,741,000 in winnings, up by about E62m on last year’s
figures. This total included 12 jackpots exceeding E26,000. The largest prize was won in April
when a customer won E 52,322 playing on IGT’s Cleopatra II. That will be eclipsed though
EUROPE WEST when the jackpot for Star Wars, which is currently more than E326,000, drops. In December
alone, the casino paid out a total of E27,515,029.
Forced into taking drastic action following the downturn, Estoril-Sol is to
drop the axe on 113 positions of employment at its Estoril venue. The news
Playboy makes
has not been taken well by the employment force.
London casino
Estoril-Sol
a priority
forced to make
timetoplay
UNITED KINGDOM
redundancies
The new boss of Playboy has
put developing a Playboy
Casino in London at the top of
his list of priorities for the
following
coming year.
Scott Flanders, the new
chief executive of Playboy
Enterprises, has confirmed
E25m drop
his intention to secure a
venue for a future casino
operation during 2010 and
that it would be modelled on
its operation at the Fantasy
Tower in Palms in Las Vegas.
Playboy, which reported a
US$156m net loss in 2008,
needs radical change and
Flanders believes a Playboy-
branded casino similar to the
venue in Vegas that turns over
The lights of Estoril,
US$100m a year is key to
located 15 miles out of
boosting future revenues. sequent evidence of wrongdo-
the Portuguese capital. The Playboy Club in Las ing. It was described as one of
Vegas is more akin to a small the most successful casinos in
nightclub with gaming tables the world at the time and
sunburnt Portugal with the 10 venues ees the operator said it was rior to the legal compensa- and just a few slot machines. employed 600 bunnies at any
PORTUGAL finishing 2009 with gross ‘compelled to act to ensure tion.’ The majority of It would certainly be different time, working in three shifts,
gaming revenues of the company’s survival’ and workers affected will be from any venue currently in seven days a week.
Portugal’s biggest operator E347.7m, about 40m and that it had ‘to promote a thor- between 40 and 55 years. the UK featuring loud music, Its sister clubs in Man-
Estoril-Sol is to push forward 10.3 per cent down from ough organisational restruc- A spokesperson at one people dancing around the chester and Portsmouth
with the redundancies of 2008’s figures. turing, which would be union said:”There will still tables and of course the also closed.
113 workers at its Estoril Estoril-Sol’s three venues mainly in Estoril Casino and be another 17 individual iconic Playboy bunnies. Playboy opened a shop in
Casino, on the outskirts of have a market share of 65.1 some of the services shared dismissals. Their collective Playboy shut its last casino Oxford Street three years ago,
Lisbon, blaming the effects per cent but with GGR with the Lisbon Casino.’ spirit is in a state of shock. in London in 1981 and has selling branded clothes and
of the economic downturn down by more than E25m in It said it would only affect We thought we had the long wanted to return as its homewares, but closed it last
in the gaming sector for the 2009 compared to 2008, it ‘areas where there is clearly ability to adjust the plan London venue was its most year. Flanders says a Playboy
controversial move. said it has little choice but to a surplus in the number of through dialogue and profitable. In June 2008 it had club is a more viable option.
The casino said it had make the job cuts. Total rev- employees given the hoped to continue in this all but secured a high profile He said that having
‘exhausted all possibilities enues across the three prop- current market realities and way and not through such venue with the Sports Cafe on brought the magazine back
to reduce costs through erties came in at E226.35m technological advances abrupt means. The casinos Haymarket in London’s West into the profit zone he had ‘no
economies of scale’ and that last year, ten per cent down implemented’ and ensured are grants from the state, End earmarked for redevelop- higher priority than securing
the redundancies would from 2008. The Lisbon that the 113 jobs covered which will certainly have a ment before an abrupt change a Playboy club for London.’
cost it E6m. casino was again the most correspond to the minimum say and cannot wash their in gaming legislation made He described his vision as
Representatives of the profitable in Portugal gener- number ‘necessary to hands against this dis- Playboy think twice and pull ‘the sexiest fun you can have
workers unions have already ating some E90m only 7.67 redress the economic and missal, and which will also out of the proposal. The origi- with your clothes on,’ saying
said they will fight against per cent less than in 2008. financial balance of the cost a lot of money on nal Playboy club on Park Lane there would be ‘gaming,
the decision with a series of Estoril was hit a lot harder company.’ unemployment benefits. in Mayfair was closed almost dancing, food and adult bev-
strikes being planned. with GGR down by 12 per The criterion adopted We will take this to the 30 years ago after a police raid erages’ but no lap-dancing.
Casino revenues are cent on 2008’s figures. was that of seniority and politicians but this will over suspected gambling He said the Playboy brand
down across the whole of In a statement to employ- compensation will be ‘supe- eventually lead to a strike.” irregularities, despite no sub- was couple orientated.
Barriere and Luminar ruled out in Leeds
finalnail appeal by the group, with The group had an applica- application last year on the
UNITED KINGDOM her reasons due to be made tion for a gaming licence grounds that London Clubs
public at the end of the rejected by Leeds Crown International was already
Waterimage Limited, a part- month. Court. Waterimage had meeting the demand at its
nership between French Andrew Duckworth, wanted to spend £14m trans- Alea at Clarence Dock. Gala,
hotel and casino group spokesman for Luminar, said: forming the venue into a Las Grosvenor and London Clubs
Lucien Barriere and Luminar, “We are of course very disap- Vegas-style cabaret and live all contested the application.
the largest owner of night- pointed at the outcome and entertainment casino. Kevin Grady, director of
clubs in the world, has had believe that this is the wrong In what was the last Leeds Civic Trust, said the
to give up on its hopes of decision. Our proposal was hearing of any kind under venue should be for live
turning the former Leeds about providing something the old Gaming Act of 1968, music. “The people of Leeds
nightclub Majestyk into a truly new to the people of the group claimed that the are constantly crying out for
casino. Leeds, generating new jobs casino entertainment that it more live music venues in
Judge Jenny Kershaw at in the area and also helping wants to provide is not yet the city centre. We want more
Leeds Crown Court has complete the regeneration on offer in the Yorkshire city. animation in City Square, and
turned down a subsequent of Leeds City Square.” Magistrates rejected the that would work.”
6 February 2010 • europewestnews
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