Holland Casino hit by visitor decline as profits slip in 2018

11 April 2019

Dutch gambling monopoly Holland Casino has posted a year-on-year drop in profit in 2018, despite revenue being boosted from its two new casinos in Amsterdam and Groningen.

Revenue for the 12 months through to December 31, 2018, came in at €656.5m (£565.8m/$740.4m), up 2.7% on €639.2m in the previous year.

Holland Casino was boosted by additional income from its two new casinos, with average spend per visit across all casinos up from €109 in 2017 to €114. This helped to offset a drop in total visitors, which was down from 5.8m to 5.7m for the year.

Table games revenue was up 3.9% year-on-year to €265.8m, partially helped by the new casino sites in Amsterdam and Groningen, while slot machine revenue also increased 2.3% from €332.2m to €340.0m.

Holland Casino also noted additional income of €11.4m relating to an insurance claim in connection with a fire at its Groningen site in 2017, which led to the loss of the casino building and its entire inventory. A total of €52.8m was paid out via the insurance claim.

In terms of spending for the full year, Holland Casino reported a 0.8% increase in operating expenses from €400.2m in 2017 to €403.3m. Much of this was down to personnel costs, which jumped from €225.8m to €241.6m as the number of employees climbed from 2,708 to 2,920.

However, operating costs were down by 1.6% year-on-year to €129.0m, while Holland also noted a drop in depreciation and impairment costs from €43.3m to €32.7m.

Higher spending pushed profit before tax down from €98.0m to €82.7m, while profit after tax slipped from €73.5m to €59.5m. Earnings before interest, tax, deprecation and amortisation was also down from €140.8m to €114.9m.

However, Holland Casino CEO Erwin van Lambaart was largely upbeat about the operator’s performance in 2018, saying the business made great strides during the year and was able to post a solid financial result.

Van Lambaart also said Holland Casino is progressing well with its preparations for legal online gaming in the Netherlands. In February, the Dutch Senate passed the Remote Gaming Act, paving the way for the roll-out of igaming regulation in the country, which would in turn end Holland Casino's monopoly. In 2014 the operator selected Playtech to power its online offering once the market opens.

“The preparations for our digital proposition are on schedule, so that we are ready when the online market opens,” van Lambaart said.

Image: fotogoocom