The Netherlands’ state-owned land-based casino monopoly had a solid 2019, although it helped that the company wasn’t dealing with a global pandemic at the time.
Holland Casino’s annual report shows its 14 casinos reported gross revenue of just under €729m in 2019, an 11% improvement over 2018’s result. Net income rose 11% to €526.5m while after-tax profits rose 13.6% to €67.6m.
Last year’s gaming revenue gains featured slot machine revenue rising 12.8% year-on-year to €383.5m and table games rising 8.7% to €289m. Holland Casino enjoyed 6.2m visits from 1.2m individual customers in 2019, while average spend per customer per visit rose 2.5% to €117.
Like most Dutch retail operations, all Holland Casino locations have been closed since mid-March in a countrywide effort to minimize further spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The current shutdown timeline extends for another two weeks, and CEO Erwin van Lambaart admits that “it is still unclear what will happen after April 28 and what the final impact will be for us. In any case, we are hit hard.”
Ironically, the pandemic spared Holland Casino from having to immediately impose new smoke-free rules that were set to take effect on April 1. The company had previously offered its guests designated smoking rooms but the Dutch Supreme Court put the kibosh on such areas last September.
When the casinos finally do reopen, those smoking rooms will be gone, but the company is preparing special outdoor areas where smokers can nip out for a butt. Those areas initially planned to feature a certain number of gaming positions, but Holland Casino now says the best it can offer is a promise to reserve a player’s favorite slot machine while they’re satisfying that nic-fit.
Holland Casino is currently constructing two new venues in Venlo and Utrecht, both of which are expected to open in mid-2021. Around that same time, Holland Casino plans to join the Netherlands’ regulated online gambling market, having inked an online partnership with gambling technology provider Playtech way back in 2013.