France largest casino group, the Partouche Group (PARP:FP) recently organised a ceremony to cement the very first stone of their open air casino in La Ciotat. This ceremony was attended by about 100 guests and it was led by Isidore and Patrick Partouche, founder and president of the casino group.
Partouche group already had plans to relocate to a new hotel which is closer to Marseille and it was already approved on their existing license at Casino Flots Bleus. This historic shipbuilding city is mere 30 minutes drive from Marseille. This new open-air casino which is an estimated £10 m project is supposed to have gaming floors both inside and outside with 150 slot machines. La Ciotat will be first open air casino here and architectural firm Marc Fercy has designed the building where all the players will be shielded by huge canvas umbrellas which will be installed here. At this new site players will be able to smoke and it is supposed to witness a 20 percent increase in the GGR over that of the Flots Bleus location.
The entire casino industry in France has witnessed a decline of 2.6 percent partly because of the 2008 smoking ban. Even Partouche’s French casinos which have generated £514.5 m last year have also witnessed a decline of 2.1 percent which is a cause of worry for the group as well as at the same time explore other options.
The first stone ceremony was attended by La Ciotat Mayor Patrick Bore along with the future casino director Fredric Blardone, John Carrese, CEO of La Ciotat and Partouche’s CEO, Fabrice Paire. At this ceremony, La Ciotat’s Mayor Patrick Bore said “This project has so far taken 12 years to complete, after an obstacle course which has included economic crisis, new regulations, the development of online gaming, and laws prohibiting smoking in public places. We have had to overcome all these challenges. We are proud of this first stone.”
The Casino has been designed to look like an overturned boat hull which will have a terrace of 1.300 m2 and hedges of the prickly plant with line glass walls which will provide security. Most importantly players in the open air will experience better view as well as can also smoke here while playing. The casino is expected to open in March 2017.
At present authorities in France are evaluating possibility of reforming its gambling legislation which currently bans “gambling games within 100 kilometres of Paris.” Thus Paris being the last bastion for people who wish to gamble.