Holland Casino has voiced optimism at an uplift in football once COVID restrictions are eased, as the operator published a plunging financial performance in its 2020 annual report.
Revenue for the gaming operator decreased 54 per cent for the year to €333m, however average spend per visit increased by 13.7 per cent from €117 in 2019 to €133 due to what it calls a “different visitor mix”.
“Holland Casino has remained financially robust with a solid liquidity position and continues to invest strategically in its future,” the company states.
The number of visits to its range of venues decreased 60 per cent to 2.5 million in 2020 (2019: 6.2 million), with Holland Casino having 143 days completely closed due to coronavirus, 151 days open with restrictions and only 71 without.
Holland Casino also recorded a loss before corporation tax of €80.7m, compared to an income of €89.6m a year earlier. For 2020, €93.5m is due in gambling tax, of which the group received a deferment of payment for €74.9m.
“Despite the constantly changing circumstances and major challenges that this crisis year caused, I firmly believe that we will get through it well,” explained Erwin van Lambaart, CEO of Holland Casino.
“This is due to the resilience of our people, general government support measures, focus on cost control and a clear strategic investment vision for the future. Together, this has meant that we were always able to anticipate the consequences of this crisis. ”
Adding: “I am proud that, despite the severe financial headwind, we have continued to serve the long term of the company, especially in times of crisis.
“In addition to important investments in preparations for our online offer, it concerns, for example, the strategic cooperation with ESPN Eredivisie, which also includes a lot of attention for prevention and information, and the construction of our two new sustainable offices in Venlo and Utrecht.
“We are also investing significantly in our compliance department, which further enhances the quality of our prevention and anti-money laundering policy. It is precisely on this point that Holland Casino wants to continue to distinguish itself.”
This coming weekend will also see Holland Casino reopen a selection of its property portfolio, as the company participates in the country’s pilot events programme.
This will see its casinos in Enschede, Venlo and Breda open on Saturday 24 April, with Amsterdam West, Utrecht and Leeuwarden, set to follow suit the following day.
Holland Casino’s remaining branches in Amsterdam Center, Rotterdam, Scheveningen, Zandvoort, Groningen, Nijmegen, Valkenburg, and Eindhoven, will remain unaffected and shutdown.
The firm also anticipates reopening its offices, with restrictions, during the quarter of the year, as well as celebrating its 45th anniversary on October 1, 2020.
Regarding its future outlook, it was explained: “Holland Casino is a cyclical company and will therefore suffer from the expected economic recession. Nevertheless, the company is optimistic about the future.
“The restructuring means that everyone is in the right place, the organisation is more efficient and agile, and there is a future-proof new structure that guarantees continuity.
“In addition, there is a legitimate belief that guests would like to visit the casino again. In any case, a peak is expected at nightlife venues when the restrictions can be lifted completely.
“The interest in casino visits last summer also showed this and that is nothing short of hopeful. The hospitality and the offer of safe and responsible play will also provide relaxation at the highest level for many Dutch people in the coming months.”