José Gimenez, co-owner of Font-Romeu Casino, France, told all-andorra.com about gambling in France.
“Jean-Christophe and I (José Gimenez) have owned since 2007 and I have been the owner of the Casino de Vernet les Bains since 2017. At the time, Font-Romeu Casino’s best customers were Andorrans, especially for games like roulette.
I can say that gambling in France, in general, is very popular but there has been a small decline in recent years because of the purchasing power that decreases from year to year. In France, we have about 200 casinos. They are located in cities with a minimum population of 400,000 or in “thermal” and seaside towns (these are the rules for gaining permission to create a casino). As for our casino, we have about 80% French and 20% foreign clients.
As for the average age of the players, I can say that they are mostly seniors. 70% are retirees and 30% are younger people.
The most popular games to be played are slot machines.
Slot machines are simple to use and can be programmed. But if you ask me: “How can you be sure to win in a casino?”, I would answer that you should come to play regularly and you have to have a little bit of luck. But there are cases of big wins, of course. Distributed over one year in Font-Romeu they come to around one million euros.
It’s very complicated to obtain a gaming license in France. State authorization is required – the authorization is issued by the Ministry of the Interior after filling in many forms and carefully processing the data.
Finally, the number of slot machines depends on the type of authorization issued. For small casinos, it’s about 50 slot machines, for the big ones – up to 400 slot machines.
Each machine costs 25,000 euros and table games between 10,000 and 30,000 euros. Our investment without the walls is 4 million euros.
To attract tourists from other regions (Andorra, for example) we can set up a shuttle service if there are interested customers. This service could be free for casino clients”.