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The Interior Minister gives green light for casinos in Paris

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The Interior Minister gives green light for casinos in Paris
Written by Clémence Valendrin on Thursday, June 4, 2015

We recently announced that land-based casinos could be allowed in Paris. The project seems to come to life now, as the Interior Minister has just given the green light. The government should therefore soon lift the ban on this type of establishment.

A relevant report

The Prefect Jean-Pierre Duport is soon to present a report about the possible legalisation of casinos in Paris. The suspense about the content in the report is not very big since everyone expects it will recommend the opening of casinos in the city of light. Paris currently remains one of the few capitals in Europe who does not have this type of gambling establishments. The reason is a law from 1920 that prohibits the operation of a casino within a 100 km radius of the city.

The city of Paris has the last word

Whatever happens, even if the report is in favour of casinos, it will still be the city of Paris that will make the final decision, and currently no official comments have been made on the matter. We only know that two options are being considered. The first would be to close the two gambling clubs that still exist in the capital and launch a tender procedure for future casinos. The second would be to change these casino clubs by changing their legal status of that of an association, which was put in place by the obsolete law from 1901.

Tense debates ahead

With the exception of the UDI, no political party in the Council of Paris has welcomed the possibility of creating casinos in Paris. What is worse, Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet even accused the municipal team of wanting to sell their morality for money. Therefore, the discussions on this issue are likely to be very tense. But could the city refuse enormous tax revenues? There is talk of a possible turnover of 10 to 30 million euros if land-based casinos were legalised. Especially now is a good time as well, as Paris is a candidate to host the 2024 Olympic Games and the World Expo in 2025.

After the model of London

At the moment we do not know whether or not Paris will allow casinos in the city. However, if that is the case, the capital will likely propose 3 smaller establishments. They will offer no more than 10 tables, 150 to 200 slot machines and employ around 150 people. This is the case in London, which is often used as an example.

Not an easy decision to make

The authorisation of casinos in the capital is not going to be an easy matter. In fact, the city does not have the tourist label that allows for working on Sunday. This means that any gambling establishments would be forced to be opened within the seven tourist areas, in order to have the opportunity to open every day of the week. Similarly, the French casino operators are also concerned by not being able to compete with global giants of the sector, and that they could steal their Parisian establishments if they do not get priority by law. The creation of casinos in the capital would also have serious consequences with regards to employment. The first to take a hit would be the 700 employees of the casino in Enghien. We should also recognise the establishments in the Normandy or the Opal Coast. If more establishments open their doors in Paris the players will no longer have any reason to go and play the games in the provinces. This also means that the tourism and catering industries could suffer from these changes. Many professionals from the industry are alarmed about this situation. According to them, the Ministry of Interior should stop opening more casinos in France, as the country has nearly 200 now. The balance is therefore very fragile.

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