Holland Casino reports revenue drop despite digital debut

Holland Casino

Holland Casino has reported a 9.46 per cent decrease in revenue to €304.2m (2020: €333m) for the past year, despite reporting that its online division took a more than one fifth share of the Netherlands’ digital ecosystem.

This decrease is reportedly due to a near three month period towards the start of 2020 that enabled the group’s retail venues to operate without restrictions and record above average revenue figures. In contrast, 2021 saw its casinos remain closed for 168 days due to COVID-19 measures, with various mitigation measures imposed thereafter.

Holland Casino Online, which debuted as one of ten permitted operators on October 4, 2021, three days after the country launched its regulated online gambling space, is said to have contributed revenue of €40.4m.

This, the operator said, comes in at a share of 21.83 per cent of the €185m total online revenue of licensed providers reported by the Dutch Gaming Commission.

Ruud Bergervoet, Chief Financial Officer of Holland Casino, explained: “Despite the negative figures, we are in good financial shape at the core. This is partly thanks to the agility of Holland Casino and to the government support, which enabled us to retain a large proportion of the jobs in our company. 

“It also became clear in 2020 that we needed to accelerate work on creating a future-proof Holland Casino. This is why we launched the Horizon restructuring project, in which, in addition to cost savings, we also looked at how we could manage the organisation as a whole more efficiently and effectively.

“The investments in the two new casinos in Utrecht and Venlo are also paying off. We also invested in our renewed restaurants.” 

Despite recording the decreases, however, Bergervoet voiced confidence in the future potential of the group with confirmation that Holland Casino would no longer be utilising the Tijdelijke Noodmaatregel Overbrugging voor Werkbehoud (NOW) salary subsidy scheme.

“Since 23 March of this year, there are no longer any restrictions on visits to Holland Casino,” he added. “We saw the impact of this immediately in our figures. As a result, we have decided that we will no longer make any use of the Dutch government’s NOW scheme as of Q1 2022.” 

Loss before tax through 2021 dropped to €64.3m from €80.7m one year earlier, with a 31.7 drop in visits to 1.7 million also recorded. However, average spend per visit did increase 15.8 per cent to €154m. 

Noël Leise, Chief Operations Officer at Holland Casino, commented: “Holland Casino is a robust and wonderful company, where lots of people work with a passion for their profession and who are keen to provide our guests with an enjoyable evening out. 

“They were only able to do so to a limited extent in 2021 due to Covid-19 restrictions. The restructuring also led to painful news at times for colleagues, some of whom we had to bid farewell to. 

“The constant closing and part opening of our casinos really demanded a lot from our people. The uncertainty is still there, but we are now assuming that this year we will be able to simply do what we are good at and why we exist: offering gaming in a safe and responsible environment. We are more than ready for it.”