Monaco:“Getting the thrill back for players” is the 2018 goal for Pascal Camia, director for the Monte-Carlo casino and new Games director at the Société des Bains de Mer. A challenging goal in a difficult time.
Thirteen. For players, this number sometimes symbolizes unhappiness. For us, it was our chance, since we had to wait a year and a month to meet the “new” General Manager of Games at the Société des Bains de Mer. But good things come to those who wait. Pascal Camia responded openly – and exclusively – to our many questions of Monaco Matine; only withholding the figures, of course, “which can only be communicated in March, at the closure of the accounts, by the president-delegate Jean-Luc Biamonti”; as well as the situation of the director of the casino Café de Paris, who is currently being suspended pending a decision from the Disciplinary Board, which he met with on the 3rd January.
How are the Games going since you arrived?
The situation is very difficult. The global economic and political environment is unfavorable.
Should we wait for better times or review what casinos offer?
Gambling activities must be restructured. The mode of consumption for games has changed. The customer comes to win. Time spent at the casino has decreased. Ten or fifteen years ago, when the customer won, they would replace their bets. Now they pocket the money and leave. The cost structure is also important. But I have a lot of hope. It’s a long distance race.
What have you changed internally since you arrived?
We reorganized the Games with a new organizational chart, defining four clusters: marketing, finance, sales and general administration. From now on, three directors each run a casino: Casino de Monte-Carlo, Café de Paris and the Sun. I’m the one who runs the Monte-Carlo casino since Jean-Marie Alfani’s departure. I have put in place collective management where everyone has a say.
You have made profound changes at the Café de Paris and the Sun.
The Café de Paris is a primordial place, intended to increase the visibility of the casino. It has 480 slot machines. Since March 2016, it has requested games and terraces for smokers. We bet on a place open 24 hours a day, considering it was very important that the customer can stay as long as they want. The Café de Paris is a very nice casino.
And the Sun, just renovated?
The Sun is in the same case. It reopened in mid-December. It was given a Vegas side which is a great success. For example, the “punto banco” is very popular with Italians. It is a “casino-destination” in the sense that it is attached to a hotel with six hundred rooms.
How has the client evolved?
From South America to the Middle East, we need to know how to seduce players. We also welcome Chinese people, but the Western gaming system does not suit them. This is why we intend to develop ‘rolling’, a system which allows one to replay their bet, much appreciated by Asian customers.
When will you be hiring Chinese croupiers, which was once considered?
The know-how of our employees does not require it. These customers travel with their interpreter and we ourselves can put a Sinophone (someone who speaks one or more Chinese languages) at their disposal.
It is said that the Italians left because of a lack of money…
The Sun Casino is quite well attended by the Transalpine population. The Italian high-end clientele was present at the Punto Banco tournaments, which I put back last summer and was the result of a team effort. An ambience was created and the casino was very busy.
It may not be a rebirth but it is a renewal!
We have to reinvent the games and the casino. The idea is to make Monte-Carlo the most prestigious place in Europe by 2018.