One cannot accuse Casinos Austria International (CAI) of being unlucky. The foreign subsidiary of the gambling group has to fight not only economic problems but also deal with the change in the Egyptian political climate. Above all, the tense situation in Egypt is giving managers Paul Herzfeld and Joseph Leutgeb even bigger headaches.
The CAI-casino in Cairo has been closed for days because of the ongoing mass protests against the Mubarak regime. Particularly controversial is the location of the Casino: right next to the United States Embassy. Casino’s spokesperson Martin Himmelbauer tried to stay positive: “At least there are enough security forces in our immediate vicinity.” Himmelbauer could not comment on the amount of revolution-related losses the casino suffered. “The question is, of course, how long we have to stay closed”, he explained.
At least, with a slump in tourist numbers, the second Egyptian CAI location is winning big in the crisis-ridden holiday stronghold of Sharm el-Sheikh. The doors of the Red Sea resort venue remained open so far, despite the ongoing turmoil in the Egyptian capital. Lots of remaining tourists are finding relief from stress at Casinos Austria’s live games or by playing at online casinos. Choosing the former seems to be the popular choice.
Both live casinos and online gambling is permitted under Egyptian gambling laws, which was the primary reason for CAI’s decision to open casinos as two different locations within Egypt. Yet with the current turmoil raging across the country, shareholders are starting to raise questions about whether the decision to build two casinos was the correct strategy.