Earlier this year, the city of Vado in Sweden opened the country’s first purpose-built casino, built around a real-life racetrack. Now, it remains to be seen whether this world-class real estate development will be able to support a top-tier casino club brand like Vado Speedway.
The casino club market in Sweden has historically been very lean. There are currently just nine licensed and bonded casinos in the entire country. Moreover, only one of these casinos are owned by a major international gaming company, which owns four of the nine facilities. The other eight facilities are independently owned and operated. This means that, in theory, there is ample opportunity to grow the market and create more choice for bettors and gaming enthusiasts.
Located just north of Stockholm, the community of Vado is home to a variety of sporting, cultural, and historical attractions. In addition to the city’s first-class casino, the community also features a golf course, a football pitch, a hockey arena, a nature park, the Kungliga Tekniska Högskolan (Royal Institute of Technology), and the National Museum. There is also an extensive system of cobbled streets, which are popular with walkers, joggers, and cyclists. Vado, therefore, prides itself on being a self-sufficient city, which provides its residents with the attractions they crave, as well as the cultural life they enjoy.
Opening Its Doors To A Wide Audience
Although Vado’s first-class casino is only a few months old, it has already managed to attract some major international headlines. As one of the first full-service casinos to be built in Scandinavia, the facility caters to a wide audience, which spans across the whole country. Moreover, the fact that this facility is owned by a major gaming company means that it can offer the very best in entertainment and betting technology, along with a world-class restaurant and bar, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Additionally, the property has a well-deserved top ranking on TripAdvisor, with just 27 reviews and an impressive 4.5 rating, out of a possible five stars.
The opportunity to attract global attention to a small town in northern Sweden is, without a doubt, a massive boost for the local economy. Between the development of the casino and its subsequent opening, the number of international visitors in the area has increased by 28%. In April 2019, alone, the casino attracted 19,732 overnight stays and made a profit of SEK 10.8 million (€1.1 million), which is in line with the predictions of some local experts.
An Underscored Promise
One of the biggest draws for prospective customers to the casino may, in fact, be the property’s branding. Built on the site of a former brickworks, the modern steel-and-glass building offers a promise that what is inside will be different from what is outside. Indeed, the architects behind the design promise that the building will “not be a fortress, but a promissory note to turn it into a cultural hub”, which will in turn, “inspire residents and visitors to have more confidence in their own futures”.
The building’s curving staircase, which winds its way from the lowest level to the top, reflects the winding rivers that run through the area. Moreover, the glass facade provides the public with a panoramic view of the inside of the building, which is, at times, quite spectacular.
An Enormous Opportunity To Revitalize The City
In the lead-up to the development of the casino, the then-mayor of Vado, Björn Österberg, made it clear that the project would be a shot in the arm for the city. In an interview with Swedish news magazine, Aftonbladet, Österberg stated, “The building will not only be a great source of income for us as a city but also an incredible opportunity to revitalize the city.”
Indeed, at its opening, the casino will offer 135,000 square feet (12,400 square meters) of space, which houses over 500,000 square feet (46,300 square meters) of private amenity spaces, such as lounges, bars, and restaurants. One of the main attractions of the casino is, in fact, its private amenity spaces, which include a variety of restaurants and bars. There is also a ballroom, a spa, a health clinic, a gymnasium, and a library.
Positive Feedback Looms On Social Media
Since the opening of the casino, social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram have been flooded with positive stories and feedback. On Twitter, @Vadobetting has almost 10,000 followers, with many boasting about the unique nature and feel of the city, as well as its casino, which it describes as, “Amazing. I’ve never been to a place like that. It feels like you want to be there. It feels like home.”
The city’s tourism board has, in fact, even set up a special microsite, showcasing the benefits of a visit to Vado, which you can access here.
Just How Well-Designed Is The Vado Speedway?
Although the architects behind the design of the casino have kept its industrial past in mind, when it comes to the building’s layout and interior, they have aimed to create a world that is full of life and color. Indeed, the architects have utilized natural light, creating large open spaces, with natural wood, stone, and metal surfaces, creating a sense of space and place that is truly unique to this part of Sweden. Moreover, as a real-life racetrack, the layout and design of the building mirrors that of an actual racecourse, where there are grandstands, paddocks, and flag-bowing ceremonies.
The building’s layout is, in fact, quite unique and, in many ways, functional. Arranged around a central atrium, the four retail floors are designed as a petal, with the ground floor acting as the “semi-moat”, which provides the building’s primary water feature. The first three floors are laid out in a roughly “H” shape, while the top floor takes the form of an “F”.
From the top down, the H-shape is, in fact, quite fitting, as the building does, indeed, follow the shape of a capital “H” — the unofficial symbol of the city. Moreover, one of the unique features of the building is its inclined floors. The first floor is essentially at a 45-degree angle to the street, while the upper floors are at even more inclinations, providing residents with a private oasis, which is unrivalled in this part of Sweden. Interestingly, these inclined floors act as a light well, bringing daylight deep into the heart of the building.
Sustainability Is A Top Priority
As a general rule, any type of establishment, which is visited by lots of people every day, will have to face the demands that travel, and tourism, place on the environment. In the lead-up to the development of the casino, it was made clear that sustainability would be a key priority. In an interview with local media, Stina Díaz, Director of Sustainability at Visit Skåne — the region’s tourism board — said, “We want to protect our forests, water, and air, so that future generations can enjoy this beautiful place as much as we do. The built environment plays an essential role in this regard, and it is wonderful to see a building with such unique features, which adapts to the environment.”
Díaz also went on to discuss how the region’s ecology can be protected through a balanced approach, which includes promoting more eco-friendly living and leisure activities, as well as working to protect the forest from unsustainable practices. It is clear, therefore, that Vado’s new addition will not only offer residents a place to socialize and unwind, but will also provide an incredible opportunity to learn about sustainable development.
What Does The Future Hold For The Vado Speedway?
For now, the future of the Vado Speedway appears quite positive. Since its opening, the casino has already hosted some major music concerts and cultural events, along with the usual assortment of sporting fixtures. Moreover, the development of more international gaming brands, which are based in Sweden, is anticipated to provide further economic benefits. In fact, with more competition and choice, existing customers are expected to seek out more attractions and, ultimately, spend more money in the local economy.