Campione d’Italia, a small Italian territory situated on the Lake Lugano’s shores, is trying to survive after the giant casino, which has been its major source of income, was closed.
A large banner placed opposite the casino venue reads “SOS Campione is dead”. Another banner hung on a tent placed there by the worker unions representing the casino employees who were dismissed from their jobs says “No more bets” in French. They are all seeking to demonstrate that the public casino closure has been no less than devastating for the 1,961 residents of the sovereign Italian territory.
The large public casino has guaranteed the affluence of the town and its residents for decades and was the one which ensured the bread and butter for the territory’s people. This income security, however, was brought to an end in July 2018, when a Como-based local Italian court issued an order for the casino to stop operation after it did not manage to meet its financial obligations to Campione authorities.
As previously reported by CasinoGamesPro, the atmosphere in the local community with the casino now being shut is gloomy, as the main source of income for local people exists no more. Still, the residents have hopes that new life could be brought to the casino.
Recently, a Milan court overturned the legal ruling of the court in Como, citing procedural inconsistencies for its decision. Also, in April 2019, an expert was sent by the Italian Government to evaluate the chances of bringing the casino back to life. In any case, Campione residents are calling for the Italian authorities to take measures and save the territory, which has been seriously hurt after the casino closure.
Slot Machines Permissions and Rising Online Gambling Popularity Have Also Hit Casino’s Profits
Campione-based iconic gambling establishment first opened in 1917, with its main purpose at the time being espionage on foreign diplomats during World War I. It stopped operation two years later, only to reopen in 1933 under a special decree which still remains in effect.
The casino has long been famous as a desired gambling destination for high-roller customers who have brought a lot of money to the small town. Following 7 years of construction works, in 2007, a brand new casino situated on 36,000 square feet started operation. The massive venue can accommodate 3,100 visitors at a time and offers players 56 tables and approximately 1,000 slot machines.
Unfortunately, slot machines in bars and cafés were allowed under new pieces of legislation only to come as competition to the casino, along with online gambling which also has been on the rise over the last few years, only to drain some of the venue’s winnings. Campione’s winnings have also been affected by the Swiss franc’s strengthening against the euro, not to mention the fact that three big Swiss casino venues have started operation in close proximity since 2000.
The situation could also soon become even more complicated, as the small Italian territory is set to become part of the European Union customs area in 2020.