Brussels, November 25, 2005 — With final preparations in full swing for the Gala Opening Night of Grand Casino Brussels on January 19, 2006, Mr. Freddy Thielemans, Mayor of the City of Brussels, Mr. Bertin Mampaka, Deputy Mayor of the City of Brussels, Mr. Paul Herzfeld, CEO of Casinos Austria International, Mr. Josef Leutgeb, CFO of Casinos Austria International, Mr. Tim Cullimore, General Manager Grand Casino Brussels, and Dr. Peter Ketzer, Casinos Austria International Representative in Brussels took the opportunity to present their new casino and offer journalists a sneak preview of the many attractions on offer.
A few weeks prior to the Grand Opening, Grand Casino Brussels, the most prestigious and ambitious casino project to be realized in Europe in recent years, will open its doors to the public to ensure the operation is fully prepared for the Gala Opening Night.
The new casino will be located in the historical Salle de la Madeleine right in the heart of the European capital.
A multi-purpose concept for a unique location
Casinos Austria International (CAI) and its architectural partner in Brussels, BOA, have worked in close cooperation to design an innovative casino venue that transports European gaming to a whole new level. The results speak for themselves: three extravagant floors in an avant-garde crystal and glass design linked by a round glass elevator.
Each of these three floors offers its own special ambiance and entertainment, making Grand Casino Brussels quite simply the place to be in Brussels. The decor and stylish amber and red interiors have been carefully designed with this in mind, and no detail has been overlooked: from the tasteful VIP club and state-of-the-art gaming areas to the lounge facilities and choice of gourmet eateries and bars. Our aim was to create a modern casino, yet still retain the warm and welcoming appeal that is so typical of Brussels.
The lively ground floor, home to the main gaming area, offers a choice of 13 live gaming tables (Roulette, Black Jack, Stud Poker and Mini Punto Banco), 201 slot machines, as well as a deluxe food bar and several cocktail bars.
For those seeking a more relaxing setting, the luxurious first floor gallery also offers 8 gaming tables and 5 slot machines, comfortable lounge areas, VIP club and gaming facilities and the trendy gourmet „La Madeleine“ restaurant, where Chef de Cuisine, Michel D., will entice guests with his own very special flavour of cooking „live“ from an open kitchen: a sublime combination of French, oriental and exotic delights.
Finally, the multi-purpose „St. Jean“ function room on the top floor will be used to host all manner of events, receptions, banquets and seminars and can also be hired for private and corporate events.
Grand Casino Brussels
Covering an area of 6200 m², the complex is located right in the heart of Brussels, opposite the Hotel Royal Windsor and within easy walking distance of Central Station and main tourist attractions such as the Grand Place and Mont des Arts museum and theatre district. Grand Casino Brussels is well served by all forms of public transport, with extensive parking facilities also available nearby.
With the approval of the City of Brussels, this splendid historical site has been fully restored to its former glory and transformed into a welcoming, entertaining and relaxing attraction for both local and international clientele alike.
Adapting the Salle de la Madeleine to accommodate the casino required extensive structural work, renovations and modifications. In doing so, CAI and the City of Brussels have taken the utmost care to respect the site’s cultural and architectural heritage, whilst also ensuring that all work undertaken is fully compliant with the Belgian and international safety and security standards required to operate a casino of international renown.
Impact on the Brussels Region
The new multi-purpose casino will make a strong contribution to economic development in Brussels, creating over 260 new jobs and boosting the local employment market. Staff have been recruited primarily from the Brussels region and, with the support of the local authorities, have received extensive training in the special skills required for working in a casino environment. The highly enthusiastic new casino team includes a large number of young, multilingual staff.
The new casino and entertainment complex will play an important role in the entertainment, hotel and tourism sectors in the Brussels region. The presence of a casino of this calibre, with its high-class clientele and host of prestigious top events will help to revitalize this downtown district and make the city of Brussels an even more attractive destination for visitors.
Casinos Austria International in Brussels
Opening a casino in Brussels has been an exciting venture for its operator, internationally renowned casino management and development company, Casinos Austria International. Indeed, since its bid was officially accepted by Brussels City Council, the Austria-based group has done all in its power to ensure that the city’s new casino receives the best of everything and does true justice to its host city’s requirements and its role as the capital of Europe.
CAI counts its traditionally innovative approach to gaming and its extensive international presence and experience among its key strengths. Grand Casino Brussels will benefit greatly from being part of this global casino network.
As of November 2005, CAI and its partners operated a total of 51 land based casinos in 15 countries and 8 shipboard casinos. Its parent company, Casinos Austria AG, also owns and operates the 12 casinos in Austria. In 2004, the two companies together posted revenues (wins, registered tips, entrance) of EUR 996 million, welcomed a total of 17.3 million guests and employed around 9.200 staff. Casinos Austria’s revenues from the casino sector are expected to exceed EUR 1 billion in 2005.
Casinos Austria International Holding
Rue Duquesnoy 12-14
B – 1000 Brussels
Tim Cullimore (General Manager)
Nancy Brock (Marketing Manager)
Phone: +32 2 289 11 30
Fax: +32 2 503 12 15
Temporary Office Address:
Casinos Austria International Holding
Rue du Poinçon 51
B – 1000 Brussels
Press Contact in Brussels:
PRP (Public Relations Partners)
François Géhot – Jacques Lechat
Av. Roger Vandendriessche, 5
B – 1150 Brussels
Phone: + 32 2 762 65 18
Fax + 32 2 771 19 59
International Press Contact:
Casinos Austria International
Head of Corporate Relations and Customer Care
Dr. Karl Lueger Ring 14
A – 1015 Vienna
Phone: + 43 1 534 40 524
Fax: + 43 1 532 92 07