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Southern Cyprus’ House Institutions Committee is looking at ways to
punish Greek Cypriots who gamble in the north. Andreas Angelides of
Turgut Muslu, director of tourism planning for the KKTC Economy and
DIKO argued that casinos in the north were illegal and it was up to the Tourism Ministry on Northern Cyprus’ 23 casinos
state to increase ‘prosecutions and pressure on those who visit
casinos in the occupied areas.’ However, legal services have told the
“Our casino customers contribute up between 40 to 50 per cent of paradise, one with casinos.
committee that there is nothing the state can do against those that
positively to tourism on the island the funds used for developing When we are compared to
North/South divide
gamble in the north. Local paper the Cyprus Mail said: “Such shabby
and are an important factor in tourism and the promotion of southern [Greek] Cyprus, our
widens in Cyprus discussions are a waste of parliamentary time. It is high time deputies
keeping tourism on its feet. The northern Cyprus. So northern casinos are just one more
devoted themselves to some of the real issues affecting this country.”
tax revenue from casinos makes Cyprus really is a tourism distinguishing feature.”
The growth and growth of Queenco
Queenco Leisure International, the owner of
one of the European casino industry’s
biggest cash generators, Club Hotel Loutraki
in Greece, has posted impressive results
once again with GGG growing by more than
16 per cent. Phil Martin reports.
sweetsixteen effects of the changes in the
GREECE accounting policy of
employees’ social rights as
With one of the jewels of Euro- described (amounted to
pean gaming firmly wedged €1.6m), and salary increases
into its crown, there was no that were implemented in
surprise that the results from the second half of 2007,” Miz-
Queenco Leisure sparkled eretz explained.
once more, however, its first Importantly, visitor
quarter results have had to numbers continued to
hurdle several spiralling costs increase, up 14 per cent to
which threatened to take the 315,000.
shine off what could have “Casino Loutraki remains
been achieved. committed to continual
These days there is much improvement, and so in line
more to the set up of Queenco with our strategy to widen
than merely the Club Hotel our first-rate complemen-
Club Hotel Loutraki
Loutraki in Greece, but the tary services to ‘VVIPs’ we
saw GGR of
group’s overall revenue are increasing the number
€72.6m for the first
growth of 16.5 per cent to of suites in the hotel,” Miz- quarter of 2008
€54.5m from €46.8m has eretz added. “This latest
once again received a huge development also forms part
boost from the venue situated of our strategy to target high continue in the rest of the unique gaming experiences,” half of the year, subject to liminary intention to have
80km outside of Athens. rollers, an important route year to a recovery trading in the CEO added. authorities’ approvals, and opened our Prague nightclub
Gross gaming revenues to revenue growth.” performance.” In Serbia, the first quarter the scheduled opening time and gaming hall in the first
for the quarter at the Elsewhere in Greece, GGR In Romania, the quarter EBITDA for the casino at the end of 2009 remains on half of 2008, there have been a
Loutraki venue grew 11.2 was actually down at Casino saw Casino Palace trading resulted in a loss of 1m track. Regarding our develop- number of design issues
per cent to €72.6m while Rodos with the quarter down extremely positively. Gross although Mizeretz said the ment project in Sihanoukville, which have delayed the
net revenues grew by 10.1 €7.5m from €8.2m for the gaming revenues for the impact on contributions to Cambodia, we are in the stage project and the opening is
per cent to €48.8m. previous year’s quarter. Miz- period grew by 55 per cent to QLI was minimal. “We remain of choosing the architects now expected to occur
Queenco CEO Dror Miz- eretz explained the decrease: €7.3m, while net revenues optimistic however about the that will provide a suitable towards the end of this year.”
eretz said: “This growth has “In January, the end of Rodos’ grew by 56.4 per cent to long term performance of plan for our vision. We believe Overall, Queenco’s net rev-
been driven by the predomi- festive season, the casino was €7.1m, reflecting what they Casino Beograd, and believe the physical work will start enues grew by 18.1 per cent
nant increase in locals visit- hit by heavy weather which termed as the increasing that from the second half of this year and the scheduled to €38.3m compared to the
ing, in addition to the number impacted revenues during a growth in private wealth and 2008 the EBITDA will opening time at the end of comartive three months last
of visitors in the casino. We traditionally weak period. disposable income amongst improve as marketing efforts 2009 remains on track. year. Gross gaming revenues
anticipate that growth will Despite this, visit numbers Romanians, and the contribu- will help to generate more Several international archi- grew 17 per cent to €53.3m
continue into the second were consistent with the com- tion of their decision to switch revenues,” he said. tects have sent some pro- Mizeretz concluded: “We’re
quarter, as the casino will parative quarter and the drop to gaming in Euros from US Looking forward new proj- posals for designing focused on our key metrics of
reap further benefits from went up. As a consequence of Dollars on 1 September 2007. ects are taking shape. “We can according to our vision of growing net gaming revenues,
last year’s increase in the the revenue decrease “We can also report that report that we are making the project in Sihanoukville, attracting increasing number
number of slot machines together with the changes in Casino Palace will begin, this good progress in our pipeline Cambodia, which will of visitors to our casinos and
from 750 to 1,000.” the accounting policy of year, the soft renovation of of new projects. Our plans to include a 5 star leisure resort growing win per visit
However, during the employees’ social rights and the casino including opening renovate and operate a his- hotel and casino.” numbers. This, coupled with
period the casino generated the salary increase at the a gourmet Asian restaurant. toric building in Constanta, Queenco intend to start the robustness of QLI’s emerg-
EBITDA of €21.3m, a beginning of 2008, we believe The opening of this gourmet Romania as 'Casino Constan- operating in Cambodia by the ing market casino model and
decrease of 5.3 per cent on that in spite of this weak restaurant will add yet ta' are in the design stage,” end of 2010. the resilience of the global
the same quarter last year. quarter, and due to the visits another complementary facil- Mizeretz said. It is also making progress gaming market, means we
“The explanation for the and drop performance, the ity, something which we hope “It is expected that work in the Czech Republic. Miz- remain on track to deliver our
decrease is mainly due to the positive trend of 2007 will will enhance our customers’ will start during the second eretz said: “Despite our pre- targets for the year.”
Ritzio opens in Serbia and doubles down in Croatia
marketmoves opment strategy we have been using across tion merges the operations of all the
SERBIA/CROATIA Europe. We intend to build a nationwide company’s gaming facilities and create signifi-
network of modern gaming clubs for those cant opportunities for building a solid mono-
Ritzio International has continued its march who enjoy social life,” said Vitaly Veselko, branded network in the nearest future.
across the globe with two European deals Ritzio CEO. The company’s most immediate Ritzio plans to rebrand the current clubs
seeing it open its first gaming club in Serbia as plans include an opening of two more clubs in into a Croatian version of it’s key brand ‘Vol-
well as buying 16 existing venues in Croatia. Belgrade in June. cano’ - a popular multinational gaming chain,
Ritzio enters Serbia with its key format of Ritzio has also acquired a network of gaming that employs principles of quality service and
modern accessible middle-size gaming venues locations in Croatia. As a result of the transac- consistent branding. ‘Volcano’ chain has been
with the opening of a 330-square-meters facility
The Vulkan club in Serbia
tion, the company has added 16 new clubs in spreading across Europe since 2007, when
featuring 51 gaming machine and entertainment Zagreb and the country’s urban areas to the 15 the company opened the first ‘Vulkan Stern’
services in the country’s capital Belgrade. venues Ritzio has been operating in Croatia. gaming venues in Germany and ‘Vulcano
The company intends to develop the Vulcan including comfortable and fresh interiors, All gaming properties are located in ten della Fortuna’ in Italy .
chain of gaming clubs to spread around the modern machines and a selection of quality cities including the country’s capital. Now Currently, Ritzio International operates over
country’s urban areas. The network will be entertainment services, offering lively and Ritzio manages 1,197 gaming machines in 570 venues including casinos, gaming clubs
designed, equipped and managed in strict enjoyable experience to players. Croatia, creating one of the industry’s and entertainment centers in 15 countries in
accordance with Ritzio’s requirements, those “In Serbia we are following the same devel- strongest retail gaming offerings. The acquisi- Europe, the CIS, and Latin America.
10 July 2008 • europeannews
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