Joa remains at the helm of the Lons-le-Saunier casino for another 15 years

In Lons-le-Saunier, the capital of the Jura department, the Joa group has succeeded in extending its concession to manage the casino until 2039, compared with the original deadline of March 2024. Negotiations were somewhat tense, but the group is now proud to have won the day against the municipality. Read on.

The Joa group remains at the helm of the Lons-le-Saunier casino

The concession for the casino in Lons-le-Saunier, Jura, was due to expire in March 2024. However, the municipality decided to put the matter back on the table in July 2023, in the hope that new candidates would come forward to run the establishment. In the end, the offer failed to attract any other suitors. Joa, which has managed the site since 2019 after taking over the concession from the Emeraude group, reigns supreme.

The Syndicat mixte d’énergies, d’équipements et de e-communication du Jura (Sidec), acting as dealer at the negotiating table, accompanied the town’s elected representatives to examine the Joa group’s assets. The operator highlighted the presence of four gaming tables, around 100 slot machines and 23 electronic games. In addition, the group highlighted the need to combat money laundering, as well as its exclusive rights over certain machines. Finally, Joa supported its candidacy by promising to create numerous permanent jobs.

A real poker game at the negotiating table

However, a good hand isn’t always enough to win the game. The Joa Group has pulled out all the stops to win: among the improvements claimed, for example, is the evolution of its restaurant Le Loft, which will become Le Comptoir, as well as the creation of a smoking patio equipped with electronic games. Another major asset is the redevelopment of the current bar into a “sports bar”, which will broadcast sporting events and even offer online betting!

It’s worth noting that the negotiations have had their tense moments, with the town of Lons-le-Saunier still looking to cash in. In particular, it put forward the idea of a major cultural event to be organized by Joa every year, but the group did not accept this proposal, preferring to offer a financial contribution to a town event.

At the end of the game, the municipality succeeded in imposing its joker: an increase in its percentage of gross gaming revenue, generating an additional gain of around €400,000 over 15 years. Although the city emerged from the discussions with a significant gain on the table, the casino, as is often the case in this type of negotiation, remained in a dominant position.

Kayleigh Williams