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CR75-p10-EuropeCECIS1:SJC-Casino Review 20/12/08 21:30 Page 1
for Bavarian
Smokers at Casino Bad Kötzting were given a welcome
Christmas present with the completion of an enclosed
glass balcony where they can light up without freezing.
Screens allow them to follow the action at the roulette
tables. The casino is also to build a roof terrace café with
external access which it is hoped will also attract visitors
who are not necessarily players.
Casino Bad Harzburg,
where 26 jobs are to go
in the first wave of 120 Graf ‘Man
redundancies at Lower
Saxony Casinos
of the Year’
The Austrian business
magazine trend has
named Professor Johann F
to shed
Graf, the founder and
owner of Novomatic, as its
Man of the Year 2008.
The company, which
120 jobs
operates 180 Admiral
Sportsbook cafés in its
home territory, plus dozens
of gaming salons and full
casinos in other countries,
in addition to being one of
As forewarned in July, Lower Saxony
the world’s most success-
Casinos, the Casinos Austria International ful gaming machine manu-
subsidiary that operates ten casinos in
facturers, this year
central north Germany, has confirmed it is
reported a record turnover
of E2.2bn and made a pre-
to reduce its staffing levels in parts of its tax profit of E400m.
estate, with technical and gaming staff
trend magazine cited Graf
bearing the brunt. Shorter hours and fewer
for continued expansion of
his company despite the
games will also help to save money. economic crisis. There is a
new company headquarters
cutback company’s spokeswoman be affected, as 26 employees it can get away with operating still negotiating with the state in Gumpoldskirchen housing
GERMANY Karen Krüger said: “We have are laid off. Not only are jobs only slot machines.” over taxes, even a rate reduc- an extra 150 employees. At
notified the employment to go but operating hours for He continued: “The man- tion is unlikely to affect the the same time in Vienna, the
As the recession bites and the service of 120 redundancies table games will be curtailed: agement wants to get rid of plans or the redundancies. company is transforming the
smoking ban and registration out of a total 460 employees. according to the union Ver.di, even more jobs and to dis- Speaking to Casino Review former transport office build-
requirements continue to turn As the redundancies pertain the traditional games will now tance itself from traditional as far back as July, Karen ing, which it owns, into a
players away from the doors to operations, we have already only operate from Tuesday to games; already six of the ten Krüger said that in these diffi- new culture and entertain-
of casinos, job cuts - if not out- informed the works council. Saturday and one poker table casinos are pure slot machine cult times, hard choices would ment centre.
right closure - have been a Negotiations over the redun- is to be withdrawn. operations. have to be made about how Graf founded the
major worry for operators in dancy packages are ongoing.” Union representatives are, However, the union’s anger the company would be able to company in 1974 as an
Germany. Now a year after the Lower Saxony Casinos has unsurprisingly, furious. Horst is not directed solely at the continue operations. import of pinball machines
disastrous Interstate Treaty on seen a shortfall in its gross Jaguttis, chairman of the management but also at the She said: “It is the case that and shortly thereafter began
Gambling was enacted, and gaming revenues this year of Casino Workers Group for state government, which they slot machines are a lot more to manufacture gaming
six months after the possibil- around 30 per cent - a figure Ver.di, said: “The state govern- blame for not having moved profitable than table games. machines. His enthusiasm
ity was first mooted, Lower very much in line with other ment of Lower Saxony must fast enough to recognise the Indeed, in the past, income for new technology and new
Saxony Casinos is to say casinos in Germany. It cur- stop these company managers stress that the high tax burden from slots has helped to ideas is legendary in the
goodbye to almost a quarter rently pays a tax of 70 per cent immediately. It is our opinion has put on casino operations. support table games which industry. This year, the
of its workforce, croupiers of GGR to the state and munic- that the company is openly It wants an immediate cut in we have maintained because company has shipped
and technicians, from the ipalities. testing a strategy to see taxes combined with an order they are important for our 100,000 machines, more
casinos in Hanover, Bad Zwis- “We are running a deficit,” whether live gaming must be for the management to alter image. But now the profits are than any other manufacturer,
chenahn and Bad Harzburg. said Krüger. included in the offering as part its strategy. not enough to cover the losses around half of which end up
In November the Bad Harzburg is the first to of its state licence or whether Although the company is of the table games.” in the world’s casinos.
The company employs
2,500 people in Austria and
14,000 globally. The maga-
Rumours unquelled over casino in Cologne
zine estimates, conserva-
tively, that the entire company
is worth at least E3bn.
willtheywon’tthey a“No Comment” on the latest under the recently amended
GERMANY round of speculation. gaming law in NRW, the
There are four casinos, the company can, with agree-
Despite official denials, talk maximum mandated under ment, move an existing one.
of a casino being established state law, in NRW: Aachen, Aachen is at most risk given
in Cologne, the biggest city Bad Oeynhausen, Dortmund the competition it experi-
in North Rhine-Westfalia and, since 2007, Duisburg. ences from casinos in the
(NRW), have failed to die The latter has so far managed Netherlands, Belgium and
down. Questions have even to continue to do fairly good Luxembourg.
been asked in the state par- business despite all the Managing director Horst
liament in Düsseldorf. issues that have so severely Jann said the company’s
WestSpiel, which is the affected almost all casinos in existing locations were
licensed casino operator in Germany, including its sister always being “kept under
the state, has consistently establishments. review”. But he added: “We
remained mute on the
Still under threat: powerful voices want to see
Prof Johann Graf, owner of
WestSpiel’s casino in Aachen move to Cologne
While another brand new have to go where the people
Novomatic and trend’s Man
subject and again has issued licence is highly unlikely, are.” of the Year 2008
10 January 2009 • europecentraleast&cisnews
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