Economy & Politics

Virus won’t knock Casino 2000 down

The Mondorf-les-Bains casino has had a dark year. Between two imposed closures, the fear of infections and the curfew, it is not easy to attract so many players, concert goers or foodies. But the site has more than one asset in its game for the future.

The Mondorf-les-Bains casino has had a dark year. Between two imposed closures, the fear of infections and the curfew, it is not easy to attract so many players, concert goers or foodies. But the site has more than one asset in its game for the future.

(pj with Thomas KLEIN) “We will survive, that is not the question.” Do not count on Guido Berghmans to play the card of despair when he talks about “his” establishment. The manager of the Mondorf-les-Bains casino intends to keep his hand in the face of this virus which has played nasty tricks on him this year. Like this unexpected stop since November 26 … A year 2020 which should have been one of records, for the games sector in particular. 94 days of closure (imposed by the government over the course of the covid episodes) have overcome hopes of gains. Oraised the 50 million euros in expected income roulettes, card games and other slot machines.

This is the fourth largest win won by a client of the slot machines at the Mondorf-les-Bains establishment. However, a sum far from the record distributed in 2007: 1.6 million euros.

Depending on whether or not the casino reopens after December 15 (as bars and restaurants also hope), the target could be reached at just 55%. “Is between 27 and 28 million», Announces cash Guido Berghmans. This without forgetting the less financial income due to the stoppage of the hotel, the establishment’s restaurants and the cancellation of all the events and concerts that contribute to the frequentation of the site …

For the manager of this very special company, it remains to be seen what cards he will have in hand for 2021. What sanitary measures will be required in the future in the various areas of Casino 2000? How will the virus circulate after the vaccination campaign which is taking shape? Will confidence return among players and the general public so that the destination of Mondorf remains among the most frequented places in the country.

A return to the Roaring Twenties?

Because we must not forget: we are still talking about a site usually welcoming nearly 520,000 visitors per year, which employs 210 employees, and account two hotels, two bars, three restaurants and an event activity important. Only sectors that are paying a heavy price for this health crisis. So, positive, Guido Berghmans now hopes for better days worthy of those who followed the First World War and the Spanish flu epidemic. It was the Roaring Twenties. “People felt the need to make up for what they had missed, to have fun and forget the problems.”

But, even if this same momentum is present in the weeks (months?) To come, the casino manager knows that it will take time to find the crowd of recent years, and the turnover that was going with this influx. At least four years, he believes today, while the State has just renewed for 20 years the casino concession to the same operators.

Epidemics, the Grand Duchy has seen others in the past. And if the disease changes, certain reflexes remain anchored over the centuries. Guy Thewes, historian, can attest to this.

Beyond the virus, Guido Berghmans knows that he will have to fight with the changes in habits that this crisis may have caused. How to recover especially those who have taken a liking to online gambling. One of the sectors that really benefited the most from the lockdown or the various movement restrictions. “There isn’t much we can do right now. It’s a somewhat natural development, as booksellers have had to support Amazon ”.

The answer certainly does not lie in the game itself, but more in the “casino concept”. We go to the casino, we dress for, we prepare to meet people, to share a moment of joy, to attend a show. Nothing like that that is not offered to someone who is going to play blackjack online. It is therefore up to Casino 2000 to show this attractive facet even more in the future.

Lokales - National Lottery, Foto: Chris Karaba / Luxemburger Wort

With customers confined and points of sale closed, gambling has seriously lost its appeal in Luxembourg. There remains the online betting solution, which is safer and just as profitable.

The company has already started this work elsewhere. By renovating its restaurants, revising its menu, offering new machines or new games, but also by increasing the number of trade fairs and other shows or concerts. The reputation of the casino in Luxembourg and among cross-border workers is also due to this aspect entertainment. Not for nothing that the tickets for the show of comedian Gad Elmaleh were snapped up in just ten minutes.

The establishment had been able to mobilize to fully meet the standards imposed for the resumption of its activities in the spring, it will be able to do so again as soon as the confinement is lifted. With always this fear which hangs over the head of the croupier to the cook while passing by Guido Berghmans: when the reopening? And, above all, not with a curfew like the one in place now which would amount to a major loss of revenue. The night is conducive to welcoming more players than the day.

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