Cities of France could be adding casinos as the area has seen the best revenues in seven years. The municipal governments of France are struggling, so with the revenue growth, the area could expand gaming options to help bring in much-needed revenues. Once the economic downturn of 2008 took place, casinos began to struggle globally. However, France has since seen a turnaround, netting a 2.2% increase in earnings earning €2.2b for 2015. This was the first time the French gambling market has seen an increase in a seven year time frame.
Momentum in the gambling industry has the local government considering an expansion. The Mayor of Marseilles, Jean-Claude Gaudin, announced this week that the city will be opening a public tender to develop a casino. Gaudin has previously had commissions conducted to study casino gaming for the area and has found that a local casino could bring as many as 500 employment positions and contribute €10m in tax revenues annually.
Gaudin would like to see Marseilles become like Deauville, as their local government gets 30% of their budget from casino gaming taxes. Other towns in France rely on the operations of gaming to create as much as 80% of the revenues from taxes.
Several operators are looking to gain footing as the provider of casino gaming in Marseilles, including Partouche, Barriere and JOA. Partouche is working with La Clotat, a nearby city, on a project but still is interested in the Marseilles venue.
Casinos in France have been confined to thermal spa tourism destinations and beach resorts for more than 100 years. Laws have prevented Barriere from opening a casino within the city limits but the operator has been able to operate venues outside of Paris.
Since venues were not allowed in the City of Lights, the area was losing out on tax revenues. The Aviation Club de France, a poker venue, was shut down a few years ago and the city struggled because of it. The loss of revenues from the shutdown of the club caused the government of France to decide in the summer of 2015 to consider allowing Paris to open gambling clubs that are members-only. This would be similar to venues found in London.