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Sal - Casino Royal creates 100 direct jobs and a new profession in Cape Verde

  • The Casino Royal belongs to the same group that is building the Hotel Hilton and intends to invest heavily on Sal island and in the country in order to attract more people from outside, but also to serve local population

Santa Maria - 27 September - Casino Royal, the first in Sal island and in the country will be open with ninety per cent of cape verdeans employees and around it will born a new profession in the country - Croupier (someone appointed at a gambling table to assist in the conduct of the game, especially in the distribution of bets and payouts).

The Casino Royal belongs to the same group that is building the Hotel Hilton and intends to invest heavily on Sal island and in the country in order to attract more people from outside, but also to serve local population, said one of the owners Jacques Monnier in an exclusive interview with Ocean Press.

The experience is zero, but are more than 100 jobs to the island

The creation of the first casino in the country - Casino Royal will help the creation of 100 direct jobs, the group decided that all Croupier must be cape verdeans.

"We are working very closely with the General Inspection of games, because the agreement that we have with the Government is to hire 69% of local population to work in the casino, so 92% of the employees will be Cape Verdeans. We decided that all dealers must be Cape Verdeans. This has been the most difficult part of this journey, because in Cape Verde experience with casinos is zero, people knew nothing about this area. We will start from scratch," Monnier say.

Croupier is a profession that requires a lot of motivation

After a period of selection of candidates for Croupiers, the Group started the training of the selected.

The task for the trainers has not been easy, because everything started from scratch and according to our interviewee is a complicated job.

"We can teach a person to be a waiter, engineer, but croupier is a very difficult profession, You have to be able to maintain the people extremely motivated that is why the selection was made on other islands in order to create diversity. We will create a new professional category that does not exist in Cape Verde," he added.

The Casino Royal seeks to invest in a new professional approach

The croupiers they receive training where in a joking tone is called "Guantanamo", an improvised space in Santa Maria city, with all necessary conditions to remain until the end of training and so there will be always motivation and above all professionalism - says Jacques Monnier, adding that being croupier is a complicated job and it requires a lot of math and concentration.

"In this training period, they are paid to be here completely motivated. We transport the team with our own fleet of small buses and we pay the meal. We prefer to send them to a restaurant in Santa Maria to feel closer to home and we guarantee their return to their homes. It is important that they realize that we are not taking any advantage of them, but they need to know that the intention is to invest in them in a new professional approach", he said.

International Diploma of Croupier

At the end they will receive an international diploma that will facilitate them to find a job at any casino in the world like Las Vegas, Macau, Atlantic City, Portugal, among other best in the world, he added, stressing that they will have the same skills as any professional in this area worldwide, which means it's a great opportunity.

"We realized that there is in them a different joy, their commitment is fascinating and you can see that they are happy to be here. Our group is a family, we identified people who at first may seem to have nothing to do with this job but they can not be good as croupiers, but they can be useful in other areas," said stressing that this training have students from all the islands of this country.

How did the idea of "Happy Guantanamo" occur?

The name came through a joke, very funny, says Monnier, explaining that they had to invest in some land to implement all the greatest possible perfection, - "because we recognize that our investment will bring a different quality to tourism in Sal island".

"This is the happy Guantanamo. Here is lower than the sea level, so we had to lift it, so we put walls around, gravel and when I returned from Europe when looked at it I said to the others, it seems the Guantanamo (US military prison in the Bay of Cuba). We have "prisoners" that in 15 minutes they can leave to go take a fresh air. The name come from this idea because within the group, if you ask a person where is he, just say he's in Guantanamo and everybody know where to find him," said Jacques Monnier joking.

The social side of the Casino where is now the Guantanamo will be built a tennis court, a space that will be used for the use of the hotel, as well as for local population in order to help young people and schools to have a space to dedicate themselves in this sport. "For tourists will be charged, but for local schools and national will be free," said Jacques Monnier.

"We are now waiting for the entry into office of new members of the City Council to begin a partnership with them. We also want to be partners in the hotel school and tourism that will possibly come to be opened on the island.

The enterprise and three scales of investment

The space acquisition was the competition launched by the Government to the islands of Sal, São Vicente, Boa Vista and Maio. Among 12 competitors, the Casino Royal won and chose Sal to implement the project, having secured a contract for 25 years.

"We have exclusivity to Sal island for seven years and will bring big profits to the country and the business of the group, since each defeated player, a very significant percentage will enter in the state coffers. There will be three scales of investment of the profits, one for the government, another to invest in the social area and another in sporting activities," Monnier say.

For these investors this construction and the Hotel Hilton, which is near the Casino is a building of a great enterprise that will bring a significant change to the island, and will be the best in the country, in the infraetsrutura and investment.

"We are investing in this sense, there will be no beautiful hotel in Cape Verde than the Hilton. Not only the casino, but the Hilton itself, as well as other major projects that we create here. We will invest in other training and in people so we can be the best in the market in professionalism.

Opening forecast for the month of November, the Casino is an investment of around five million euros, it will be composed of 117 machines and 11 gaming tables, investments that will encourage the direct creation of 100 jobs.

Technical file:

Opening: November 2016

Employees: About 100, including 45 croupiers

Training of Croupiers began in June

The entire staff is Cape Verdean

Daily transport on own minibus

Free meals in a cape verdean restaurant

Paid training and practise

International Diploma at the end of the Course

Who is who:

Jacques Monnier businessman and spokesman of the group that is building the Hilton Hotel and Casino Royal

Sasha Putik: Director of Casino and head trainer

Olavo Lopez: Director of Human Resources

José Cardoso: Director of General Inspection of Games

AR/Ocean Press - Editorial Office