n October profits made in casinos fell by 6% in relation to the previous month, from 31,976 million euros to 30,163 million euros, and the forecast for 2009 is that figures will continue to fall.
According to national casino sources, never over the past 20 years, has such a significant loss in takings been noted. The only national venue to maintain its profits was Praia da Rocha’s Casino.
Comparing the month of October this year to October 2007, Estoril’s Casino registered a fall of 6.18 % in profits, Lisbon of 0.01 %, Póvoa 10.26 %, Figueira 6.62 %, Funchal 1.29 %, Espinho 11.48 %, Vilamoura 6.27 % and Monte Gordo 14.26 %.
Not counting the new Chaves Casino, which was inaugurated earlier this year, the overall average fall in revenue for the month of October in comparison to October 2007 is 6 %. According to Mário Assis Ferreira, head of the Portuguese Casino Association, “predictably, next year, the fall in revenue will worsen”.
“Casinos cannot hope to be an oasis of prosperity in the middle of a general depression”, he said, claiming it is necessary to “draw up strategies to increase the number of visitors, so that revenue can stabilize, or, if possible, grow”.
To achieve this, Mário Ferreira suggested “investing in expansion, modernization and reformulating the visual and functional aspect of all casinos, creating new services and factors of attraction, entertainment and fun that will allow the company to stimulate client’s curiosity as well as attracting new markets”.
Three casinos are already in the midst of renovation works; whilst Povoa’s Casino is being upgraded, Lisbon’s Casino is being extended by an extra floor and Estoril Casino is undergoing extensive interior and exterior remodeling works. All three hope to benefit from newly implemented commercial and public relation strategies, and improved client services.
Mário Ferreira agreed it would take “courage to, in the midst of a depression, known how to invest in reconfiguring work to renew the image of a casino”.