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CR62-p06-Euro4:SJC-Casino Review 25/11/07 00:53 Page 1
The city of Lyon is calling for 40.8m euros. The licence will Having been turned down by the French gambling
applications to operate the run from 1 April 2010 until 23 commission for a licence to operate a casino in Blonville-sur-
Lyon Pharaon casino in the Hilton February 2019. Hopefuls will
Hotel. The casino,
Mer, just a few kilometres down the coast from Deauville, the
which have to be quick: the deadline company, the fifth largest operator in France with eight
opened in 2000, currently for applications is 3 January tries casinos, has vowed to try again. It claims the commission has
houses 250 slot machines and 2008 at midday. More
been inconsistent by turning down its application on the
a full range of table games. information can be obtained grounds that demand in the area is satisfied by the five
The Cité Internationale, home of Last year it generated gross from Lyon’s Direction de existing casinos but then granting those venues 85 more
the Hilton and Pharaon casino
gaming revenues of nearly Marchés Publics. machines with another 45 currently under consideration.
The soap opera
President Nicolas Sarkozy with Bernard Laporte in the background
surrounding the casino
in Gujan-Mestras
lose jobs
continues, now with a
new actor, Bernard
Laporte, who is now
beginning to understand
how much rough and
tumble there can be in
politics. Frédérique
Ruggieri, the major
shareholder of the
Partouche, which operates
troubled casino, has
the casino in Evaux-les-
Bains in the French Massif
accused him of
Centrale, has won an
corruption, a claim now
appeal against the
reinstatement of two
being investigated.
employees after they were
dismissed for taking part in
last year’s casino strike on
New Year’s Eve.
The pit boss and deputy
pit boss went on strike
over pay and conditions,
Sports minister accused
much to the annoyance of
their employers, who
sacked them because the
strike had not been
of using influence for gain
properly notified by the
unions and was therefore
illegal. The men were given
back their jobs by an
industrial tribunal but this
hardgraft venue but the interior ministry has I would take ten per cent.” Then in companies were being more has now also been
FRANCE consistently refused, despite allow- October in the sports newspaper favourably treated than small ones, overturned because the
ing Partouche and Barrière operat- l’Equipe, he said: “It was she who saying that Sarkozy, by then deeply court agreed they had
The former French national rugby ing nearby up to 200 each, a fact asked me to organise a meeting with involved in his presidential cam- attacked their colleagues
coach and new sports minister about which he has complained bit- Nicolas Sarkozy. For a joke, I said, paign, was being badly advised. freedom to work through
Bernard Laporte is in the midst of a terly on several occasions. ‘Give me ten per cent and you’ll get Whether this latest complaint verbal and physical
legal row over accusations that he Ruggieri is now claiming when your meeting.’” will meet with any success is debate- harassment and repeated
tried to use his friendship with the she met Laporte for the first time at It was this last comment, appar- able: at the very least it will raise the insults and threats. The
then interior minister, now presi- a restaurant - before he became a ently, that prompted Ruggieri to issue once again. men are now finally out of
dent, Nicolas Sarkozy, to help a minister - he said he would plead make a formal complaint of an The casino in Gujan-Mestras has their jobs; unless they
casino obtain more slot machines her case personally with Sarkozy in “attempt to extort capital”. had a turbulent start: despite decide to appeal.
for a cut of the business. return for ten per cent of the busi- This is the third complaint that support from the local authorities, Partouche dismissed
The matter is being investigated ness, a claim that Laporte denies Ruggieri has made in her battle to the interior ministry has apparently several employees from its
by the Paris prosecutor’s office; in the was serious. obtain, as she sees it, fair treatment been reluctant all along to allow it casinos at Evaux-les-Bains
meantime Laporte has announced he Laporte has made several com- for her business. The first in 2005 to operate at full strength. Its and Berck-sur-Mer: all the
will sue in return for defamation. ments on the matter saying firstly: against Dominique de Villepin, when opening was delayed by a year, sackings were
The casino in question is the ever- “She [Ruggieri] is talking nonsense, he was interior minister, was with- prompting the staff to join with the subsequently overturned
troubled Casino du Lac de la I have nothing to do with her casino. drawn when Sarkozy succeeded de management to stage a sit-in. Last by industrial tribunals. The
Magdeleine in Gujan-Mestras, oper- If I am friends with Sarkozy, it is not Villepin in the role and promised to year the desire of Ruggieri to get Tranchant group sacked 11
ated by Socodem and its combative so that I can be a pain in the neck look at the matter. When the appli- 150 machines in operation people from the casino at
CEO Frédérique Ruggieri. Ruggieri and less so that I can profit from it.” cation for 100 more machines was prompted several members of staff Pougues-les-Eaux, none of
has been trying to obtain a licence In July he said: “She told me about rejected again in March this year, to go on strike, afraid that their jobs whom have managed to
to operate 150 slot machines at the her difficulties and for a laugh, I told Ruggieri complained that the large were endangered by the slots. get their jobs back.
Soft opening and
hard words in Lille
openwarfare machines. The operator casino and hotel over the process that caused
FRANCE Lucien Barrière had road is completed, proba- unfairness between the
expected to be able to bly by spring 2009. When candidates and that Bar-
The temporary casino in install 150 from the start finished, it will be the rière’s financial claims
Lille, located in the atrium but they will not now go largest casino in France. in its proposition were
of the Euralille centre, on until the beginning of The award of the con- misleading.
opened without fanfare February. At the same tract to Lucien Barrière In the latest round of
three weeks early on 1 time, the number of in October 2006 caused legal warfare, Partouche’s
November but still employees will rise from apoplexy in the rival Par- attempt to have the con-
attracted more than 200 80 to 150. touche camp. Partouche tract cancelled were
people to its opening The venue, which is has been trying to over- rebuffed by the Adminis-
night - the number it expected to generate a turn the decision ever trative Court of Lille on
hopes to get most nights GGR of 100m euros in since, claiming that 20 November. It is
The temporary Casino Barrière de Lille is located in the
at least until it manages 2008, will operate until there were irregulari- expected that the
atrium of the modernist Euralille centre to install its slot the new-build Barrière ties in the bidding company will appeal.
6 December 2007 europeannews
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