Today, more than 200 creditors are to take their cases related to the closure of the historic Casinò di Campione before the Como Court. This comes as part of the creditors’ attempts to stop the losses suffered by the local community due to the casino’s bankruptcy and court-ordered closure last July.
One of the employees who were laid-off as a result of the casino’s downfall, the machine technician Fiorenzo Dorigo, commented for the Telegraph that the town is suffering great losses. Mr Dorigo is one of the nearly 500 workers who have not received wages since July 2018. He also shared that his wife, who owns a hair and beauty salon is also experiencing financial troubles, and so is the entire community.
According to Mr Dorigo, all economy sectors are being hit by the casino’s bankruptcy and it was still hard to believe that the casino stopped working so suddenly. About 500 laid-off employees have received neither salaries nor benefits since July 2018, while another 150 people who were engaged in the distribution chain in the region were also left jobless.
A chi dovrebbe interessare? Lo dica Lei. Situazioni del genere è piena l'Italia, famiglie senza reddito per chiusure aziendali e trasferimento di lavoro all'estero. Il casinò di Campione d'Italia era una grande oppurtunità di lavoro, per tutti, ma ha chiuso per fallimento. https://t.co/RBYjrGhb3M
— elisabeth (@ElicrinaMacrina) January 25, 2019
Casinò di Campione, which has been the oldest casino in Europe, now threatens to drag the entire village to the bottom, as most of its 2,000 residents have had their lives connected to the venue one way or another.
Casinò di Campione Closure Hit the Entire Community Hard
Casinò di Campione first started operation in 1917 as an espionage front during the World War I. It was shut down two years later, in 1919, only to reopen in 1933 under a decree requiring its income to cover the operating costs of the municipality, which is still valid.
The gambling revenues generated by the casino were satisfactory for years, with the venue being one of the small number of legal casinos in the area. This was also beneficial for the municipality, which flourished on Casinò di Campione’s revenue.
However, a massive 9-floor casino venue was constructed on space of more than 55,000 square meters in 2007, a move which literally destroyed the old casino. On the next year, the entire country was hit by a decade-long economic crisis, which combined with the legalization of slot machines and other forms of gambling and the Swiss franc’s strengthening against the euro had a negative impact on the casino’s money flow.
Losses increased but the municipality jobs covered by casino revenues continued to mount, until reaching more than 100 positions for a village with only about 2,000 residents.
Now, according to court documents, the debt of Casinò di Campione is estimated to around €73 million. The casino was closed in July 2018 under an order issued by the Como Court, while the venue’s financial mismanagement was being investigated by local prosecutors. However, the residents of the village have shared fears that stagnation will continue in case that the state does not step in soon.
There have been several offers from Switzerland to absorb the village but Italy has always rejected such possibility. Now, some of the people and businesses affected by the casino’s downfall hope that Italy could reconsider the rejection. On the other hand, the government has promised to appoint a special commissioner to consider the possible reopening of the casino venue but the 30-day period for doing that has already ended without any actions taken.