The Netherlands’ land-based casino monopoly saw one of its properties completely destroyed by fire over the weekend.
Early Sunday morning, a fire broke out at the Holland Casino location in Groningen in the north of the country. While an estimated 150 firefighters were able to gain control over the situation by Sunday afternoon and no guests or staff were injured, the property was completely destroyed. The cause of the fire remains unknown.
Holland Casino chairman Erwin van Lambaaf told local media that he had no figures regarding how much cash may have been consumed in the flames, but given that Saturday is the property’s busiest night of the week, the amount lost could be considerable.
Van Lambaaf called the event “a black page in Holland Casino’s history” and expressed concern for the immediate future of the property’s roughly 200 employees. While Holland Casino’s board is reportedly considering its options, including opening a temporary gaming location in the city, van Lambaaf couldn’t guarantee that the company would seek to rebuild a permanent venue in Groningen.
A poker tournament scheduled for August 29th at the Groningen venue has been moved to Holland Casino Leeuwarden.
Holland Casino operates 13 other gaming venues across the Netherlands, offering a combined 6,185 slot machines and 420 gaming tables. The company generated revenue of €608.3m in 2016, a 5.6% increase over 2015’s result, while net income rose 15.4% to €81.7m as customer spending per visit rose 4% to €103.
In February, the Dutch Lower House approved legislation that seeks to privatize the state-owned Holland Casino operations. The plan is to sell 10 casinos as a block, while the other four were to be sold individually. It’s unclear whether the Groningen venue would have been part of the former or latter group. The legislation also called for the issuance of two brand new casino licenses.