ECONOMICS/The Prince’s message is clear – Société des Bains de Mer must do some self-analysis and undertake reforms. Otherwise?
After a torpedo launched at the National Council, this is undoubtedly the Prince’s clearest message. Its target is Société des Bains de Mer. The company, which has just recorded a negative operating result (-31.5 million euro), must necessarily accelerate action to bring it back into the black. “It is important that the operating results balance again as quickly as possible and that the company makes a profit. Although SBM has a special status and a social role in Monaco, it cannot sustain losses in the long-term without any consequences, “Prince Albert declared unequivocally. To address this goal, “it must undertake the economic reforms it has considered, for it to become competitive again regarding competition that is global, as I have been saying for years,” he clarified.
Clearly the company cannot settle for a new gaming employee statute. The Head of State is calling for a change in mindset. “What makes the difference between Monaco, Singapore or Las Vegas is the quality of service we need to offer. There are so many attractive destinations in the world today, with affordable prices, that no-one comes only to Monaco just to please us. It is up to us to do some self-analysis,” he reminded publicly, after doing the same with SBM executives at a seminar early this summer. “We need a change in operations and in attitude. We can no longer afford to be complacent and approximate with customers, now that we are in a very competitive world in quality tourism,” the Prince clarified, without beating about the bush.
New gaming bosses
So the concurrent change at the head of the gaming department is no coincidence. John Galvani who resigned on 6 November has been replaced by Pascal Camia as of 1 December. According to an SBM statement, the mission of the former manager of the Hotel Hermitage is to “continue the reform of gaming,” and “his work will be primarily devoted to implementing a marketing strategy focused on gaming customer retention and development and good hospitality practices, in addition to developing human resources within the implementation of a single statute, the objective remaining to return to profitability in this area,” in SBM jargon. Pascal Camia will be relying on a new and entirely Monegasque organisational chart, with Jean-Marie Alfani heading Monte-Carlo Casino, Christian Barilaro the Sun Casino, and Eric Cicero the Café de Paris. This new entirely Monegasque organisation (including an MP) also has the advantage of killing two birds with one stone, by nipping in the bud any national councillors’leanings toward criticism regarding national priority shortcomings.