Holland Casino Navigates Recovery Amid iGaming Challenges
In the dynamically shifting landscape of the igaming industry, Holland Casino presents an encouraging recovery trajectory, notwithstanding several external pressures.
While the establishment reports a positive surge in visitor counts and turnover, the numbers remain lower than pre-pandemic benchmarks. Financials indicate that despite maintained costs, the prevailing inflation and stringent labor markets are challenging profitability.
During the first half of 2023, Holland Casino is optimistic about an increased turnover, forecasting a growth to €405.3 million (£351.8 million/US$428.4 million), a commendable €51.9 million rise from the first half of 2022. The pre-tax result also exhibits an uptick by €9 million, settling at €17.2 million. However, external economic factors, including inflation and heightened operational expenses, continue to weigh on the net results. This trend is projected to persist in the foreseeable future.
Diving into visitor metrics, approximately 2.5 million individuals patronized Holland Casino in the initial half of this year, a marked increase from 1.8 million in 2022. It’s noteworthy that up until February 25, the company operated under corona-induced restrictions. Average spend per visit has registered a slight dip from €148 in 2022 to €138, although it remains elevated compared to the pre-pandemic average of €117.
In the online sphere, Holland Casino Online faces challenges, with revenues declining by a third, sliding from €82.7 million to €57.2 million. This downturn can be attributed to stiffer competition in the igaming sector and certain internal strategic choices, including a self-imposed cessation of specific advertising forms in alignment with impending regulations. The igaming operator is, however, optimistic about a gradual revenue uplift as industry-wide advertising norms come into effect.
Cost implications remain a significant concern for Holland Casino, mirroring broader industry trends. Escalating energy prices, inflationary pressures, and increased personnel expenses are denting profitability. However, the latter, tied to the onboarding of 468 new team members, is viewed positively as it augurs well for service quality and operational efficiency.
An impending tax liability arising from pandemic reliefs and the necessity to finance postponed investments also challenge the company’s liquidity.
On the compliance front, Holland Casino remains committed to responsible gaming. There’s been a noticeable rise in preventive discussions, both offline and online. This increase is attributed to a heightened early detection mechanism and a refined AI model adept at discerning gaming patterns and potential risks, underscoring the brand’s dedication to safeguarding its patrons in the igaming environment.
CEO Petra de Ruiter said “We are pleased that guests are increasingly finding our way again. At the same time, not all visitors have found their way back yet. Now that our operation is back in order and we have attracted many new employees, we can also offer our complete spectrum to offer playing again. We expect the recovery that has started to continue. We now have a good basis for working on new plans with positive energy. All our colleagues deserve a big compliment for that performance. We are happy that guests are increasingly finding us again.”
CFO Ruud Bergervoet commented “I am satisfied with how we are doing as Holland Casino. However, we cannot sit back and relax. There remain significant challenges for the near future. Cost increases will continue to depress our results in the coming years, while we will also continue to reduce our will have to pay off our corona tax debt. At the same time, we must also maintain our investments to remain relevant for our guests. That is why we will have to continuously monitor the right balance between a healthy financial position and investments in the future. We will have to continuously monitor the right balance between a healthy financial position and investments in the future”
CCO Malinda Miener added “Holland Casino works every day to improve its prevention policy and we continue to invest in this. We are increasingly data-driven and work together with experts and science on increasingly better prevention and intervention systems. Although there are certainly still steps to be taken the increasing number of conversations shows that we are on the right track.” We are increasingly data-driven and work together with experts and science on increasingly better prevention and intervention systems”