Dutch casino bosses took a deep breath today as they sized up the effect of Europe’s latest smoking ban.
As the Netherlands became the latest nation to outlaw smoking in public places, gambling companies there could only wait to see if they experience the same revenue drop as their counterparts in the UK, Spain, Sweden, Australia and America.
In some countries, casino profits have plunged by as much as 10% since the law was changed. Studies suggest ciggie- and cigar-users are likely to spend twice as much on gambling as non-smokers.
Another recent report showed how many younger gamblers are now playing online instead, partly as a way to get round the anti-smoking laws.
Gaming Intelligence Services, who monitor developments for the online gaming industry, today reported Dutch casino chief Dick Flink as saying the ban could cost his company up to €15 million this year alone.
And Flink, CEO of state-owned Holland Casino, complained he couldn’t even go online to make up the shortfall. Although the company spent more than 12 months developing an online gaming site with software provider CryptoLogic, so far the Dutch government has refused to give the go-ahead for its launch.