The former owner of the Casinò di Campione d’Italia has proposed reopening the casino in September. Many people were taken aback when Casinò di Campione, Europe’s oldest and largest casino, abruptly closed in 2018 due to bankruptcy. The surrounding community of fewer than 2,000 people lost nearly 500 direct jobs and another 300 in partnered businesses.
The main reason for establishing a casino in Campione, a tiny Italian precinct surrounded by Switzerland, in 1917 was to use the premises as a post for spying on foreign diplomats during World War I. It closed a few years later, but reopened in 1933, the same year Benito Mussolini added ‘di’ to the town’s name to emphasize its Italian heritage.
On July 27th, 2018, a local court decision forced it to declare bankruptcy because the debts it had accumulated were too large to repay. The closure was both unexpected and brutal for both clients and citizens. Indeed, one of the most notable aspects of Campione’s casino was that the town’s life was entirely dependent on the gaming house, not least because the casino employed hundreds of locals.
With its biggest draw gone, Campione d’Italia’s visitor numbers plummeted, and some shops, bars, and restaurants were out of business. The coronavirus pandemic complicated the problem.
The good news has arrived recently, a court in the Lombardy town of Como has finalized a recovery plan that will allow the casino to reopen before the end of the year, possibly in September if all goes as planned. The casino will first employ 174 people, with the number increasing to 280 over the next five years.
According to the town’s mayor, Roberto Canesi, the reopening of the casino will help to maintain local revenue following the pandemic.
“The citizens of Campione can finally look to the future with optimism, leaving behind these dramatic past three years characterised by the long closure of the principle source of support for the local economy.” Canesi stated.
The new Casinò di Campione will also be integrated into the NOVOMATIC gaming offering on its gaming floors.
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