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Erwin van Lambaart: goksites gaan onze casino’s niet vervangen

Online casino’s gaan omzet van fysieke casino’s afsnoepen, maar Holland Casino-baas Erwin van Lambaart hoopt dat dat effect tijdelijk is.

‘A land-based casino is a different experience.’ (foto:Michel Schnater)

De 14 vestigingen van Holland Casino zijn helaas nog altijd gesloten vanwege de coronamaatregelen. Maar achter de schermen wordt hard gewerkt aan het online casino van Holland Casino, dat op 1 oktober 2021 van start gaat.

Reden voor iGB, een website met nieuws uit de casinowereld, om ceo Erwin van Lambaart te vragen naar zijn plannen voor de digitale toekomst van Holland Casino.

iGB interviewde Van Lambaart samen met Richard Brown. Brown is de ceo van het beursgenoteerde online gokbedrijf Gaming Innovation Group (GiG). GiG heeft diverse land-based casinoketens geholpen bij het ontwikkelen van hun online spelaanbod.

Het gesprek duurt bijna een half uur en is zeker de moeite van het bekijken waard. Meneer Casino licht een aantal opvallende uitspraken van Van Lambaart uit het interview.

De hele video vind je onder aan deze pagina.

Over de legalisering van online kansspelen in Nederland:

‘It has been a very very very long wait in the Netherlands. It has taken 15 or 18 years, I believe. Finally we’re going to open the online gambling market and Holland Casino is very much looking forward to it.’

Van Lambaart geeft twee redenen voor zijn enthousiasme:

‘A commercial reason obviously. There is a significant market in the Netherlands.

But also because finally all the operators can really protect their players and consumers. Because until now, that has not been the case. The law that’s actually in effect that needs to take care of all of this is from 1963, which is my birthyear, so it has been a very long wait.’

Over de huidige sluiting van Holland Casino:

‘In the new law, there are also quite a few requirements for land-based operations. [...] It directly goes into quite a few things that we need to take care of from the 1st of April, which is quite complicated for all land-based operators today, because we’re closed because of the COVID situation.

We have been closed since mid-December and we still have no idea when we’re going to open unfortunately. I hope we are going to reopen somewhere around the 1st of May.’

Heeft de lockdown ervoor gezorgd dat spelers blijvend meer online zijn gaan gokken?

‘It’s in principle a global development and it’s unstoppable. Also, the interesting thing to me is that besides the technological developments, it has a lot to do with human behavior.

Obviously a lot of people who were not used to shopping online or who just used online for finding their hotel but still went back to their travel agent for example... I think that has principally changed over the last year. And it’s never going to go back to what it was. You need to be very honest about that.

I truly believe on the other hand, that online and land-based do have a very bright future next to each other, instead of replacing each other. The whole experience, the whole hospitality and entertainment element of a land-based casino is a completely different experience from playing games or gambling online.’

Gaan online casino’s omzet afsnoepen van land-based casino’s?

I think the main question mark in our heads is how much the opening of the online market will cannibalize the existing turnover. No one knows.

Look at the figures on the Dutch market of the Ksa that came out. We believe that the market is already much bigger than that. We did our own market surveys and believe that the market is at least already 600 or 800 million euros of value on a yearly basis. It might even be more than that today.

Is there going to be cannibalization? Without a doubt. […] We just don’t know how big it’s going to be and how long it’s going to last. There are quite a few examples in Europe, where there’s a one or two year effect and then people are going to come back to us.

From Holland Casino’s perspective, we’ve been investing specifically for the 24 year-olds and older in Experience Zones, which have a completely different environment and experience than the traditional casino games. But the cannibalization question is the big question. And we will probably know more in a year’s time or so.’

Bekijk het hele interview met Erwin van Lambaart en Richard Brown:

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