SBC News Holland Casino repays €51.7m in tax debt as players return to venues

Holland Casino repays €51.7m in tax debt as players return to venues

Holland Casino has made progress on its post-COVID recovery, lauding an ‘en masse’ return of customers to its 14 branches across the Netherlands.

The Dutch casino operator’s interim report for H1 2022 (January to June) showcased revenue of €353.4m, with €82.8m coming from its Holland Casino Online division, accounting for 23.4% of total group income.

EBITDA stood at €40m, with profit before tax of €8.2m – this performance was largely attributed to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions, which were still in place for the first two months of 2022. 

Noël Leise, Holland Casino Director of Operations, said: “Fortunately, our loyal guests have found Holland Casino again en masse. And our committed employees do everything they can to ensure that they have a great time at Holland Casino.”

Indicative of a continuing post-COVID recovery, as well as the rapid expansion of the Dutch online gambling market, revenue for H1 2022 exceeded total group-wide earnings for the entirety of 2021. 

Closing its accounts last year, the casino recorded revenue of €304.2m, a 9% decline on 2020 figures of €333m, although the strength of its online operations was beginning to show with Holland Casino Online accounting for a fifth of total digital turnover. 

In contrast, revenue for the first six months of this year represents a 14% uptake on the entirety of 2020 trading.

Continuing into H1, the firm has shown resilience despite no longer being the only provider of online games of chance in the Netherlands following the regulation of the market and awarding of 11 new licensees in the months since. 

Just two months after the implementation of the KOA Act and the awarding of the first 10 licences, Dutch Gaming Authority (KSA) Chairman Rene Jensen observed that the online market ‘is larger than we previously thought’ – the initial turnover figure was revised by authorities from €580m to €814m. 

As a result of its rising revenue, Holland Casino has been able to pay off €51.7m of tax debt accrued during the pandemic, although the firm still has someway to go to pay off the remaining tax debt, with the total deferral up to March 2022 amounting to €313.4m.

Additionally, the casino is also seeking to address labour issues, particularly staffing, although a positive step in employee relations was reached in June when a series of wage guarantees and one-off payments were negotiated with two trade unions

“We also see that our online guests continue to appreciate our offer despite the increasing competition,” Leise continued on H1 2022 performance.

“We therefore expect a positive year for Holland Casino. Of course, that still depends on the corona developments in the autumn and how quickly we can have enough employees in the tight labour market. 

“But these half-year figures again form a promising basis. In the coming six months, we will continue to build a stable, responsible and future-proof company with renewed energy.”

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