Suning of a village: Campione after the casino bankruptcy

  • Copy URL
  • Share on Facebook
  • Share on Twitter
Peter Brandt July 1, 2019

Shine and glamor sprayed campione for many years. The small community was known far beyond the national borders – for its casino. After all, the gigantic complex was considered the largest casino in Europe, in which well -off business people gave themselves the handle with celebrities but also tourists and even local people. The small town with only around 2,000 inhabitants offered luxury and lifestyle and lived through his casino in wealth. About a year ago, however, the big break came. The casino went bankrupt. Today Campione is just a shadow of his glamorous past. The residents suffer massively.

Once the largest casino in Europe – today an empty building complex: the former Campione Casino. (©Aargauerzeitung.ch)

Casino almost the only employer

Campione is an American exclave in southern Switzerland, more precisely in South. A large banner with the inscription: SOS – Campione is Dead hangs on the beautiful lake promenade on a mountain slope. The banner clouds the otherwise impressive view of the small town with its gigantic, ten -story building complex, the Until a year ago, the largest casino in Europe was home, in which people from the region, but also guests from all over the world put their luck to the test. die Casino bankruptcy is the same as the downfall of an entire community. 482 people earned their money as an employee in the casino. numerous other residents of the village lived from tourism, which was directly connected to the casino. for more than a year now, many residents have had no income that had previously been working in the casino for decades. the campione region had put everything on the mega project and was initially successful. however, the dependence on almost only one employer was accordingly risky. but when the once largest casino in europe, the signs were actually promising. in the good times, around chf 700,000 in the municipal cash registers from the casino were received every ten days. the community sonnen into prosperity and work. but strong competition from other casinos in the surrounding area, as well as the great success run of online casinos, increased the situation in campione in recent years. the Dependence on the casino became more and more threatening And ultimately ended in fiasco. Former employees show no understanding of catastrophic management. The municipality had not done a favor with the dependency on the casino temple.

“On July 27, 2018 we received our wages for the last time. We will start protests and demonstrations together with our former work colleagues. The management of the casino was a felt of incompetent. The only rescue is that the casino will be opened again, better today than tomorrow. ”

Catastrophic consequences for the common

That catastrophic extent of the casino bankruptcy Was not foreseeable at the beginning. However, the residents of the 2,000-soul community have gotten down to the ground of the facts for the past few months. The numbers and facts show the apparently hopeless state of things:

  • The municipality as the sole owner of the former casino is in debt with around CHF 140 million.
  • The casino itself has a debt list of approximately CHF 175 million.
  • More than 800 inhabitants (approx. 40 percent) from Campione are unemployed.
  • A retirement home, the tourist office and several kindergartens had to close.
  • The school can only be heated in special cases.
  • Community workers have not been paid for a year for a year.

If the canton of Ticino would not help the community, the small town would probably have been consecrated to the final downfall. However, the canton also cannot be used to permanently cover the costs of more than five million francs for school money, waste disposal, electricity or gas. Responsible from politics and administration Therefore, discuss the introduction of tax levies by, for example, cross -border commuters. However, an agreement has not yet been in sight.

In the short term only one solution in sight

The daily increasing debt forces the municipality for a quick solution. However, the only realistic and timely solution comes Only a reopening of the casino in question. At least so, revenue from the community and jobs would be secured again. In the long run, the municipality could then solve its dependence on the gigantic casino.

Casino in champion: The gigantic, ten-story casino building was built in 1990. It was designed by the Ticino star architect Mario Botta. The costs for the casino amounted to around CHF 190 million.

But as simply as this plan may sound, The implementation is much more difficult. On the one hand, potential investors are likely to be deterred from the casino bankruptcy from last year. On the other hand, Campione itself is not allowed to be a partner of a casino for five years due to the ongoing bankruptcy proceedings. A nationwide law would have to be decided in Rome for a corresponding change. The likelihood of such a implementation is low, but hope is known to die last – even in the small town of Campione.