European Gambling Venues Will Get New COVID Restrictions From Santa

Image by Volodymyr Hryshchenko
Article by : Helen Dec 30, 2020

While many European gambling properties have started replenishing their spirit amid the recent news about the start of the COVID vaccine distribution, most governments are about to send them back under pandemic lockdown.

Last week, Cyprus Casinos, the subsidiary of Melco Resorts & Entertainment, announced its official website saying that it would suspend operations at all its gambling venues according to the new government orders. This announcement mainly applies to 2 of Cyprus Casinos’ satellite venues – C2 Nicosia and C2 Ayia Napa. The other 2 gambling properties, C2 Limassol and C2 Paphos, had already been added to the closure list in November 2020. This is the second time Cyprus Casinos is forced to shut down all its casinos. It closed all its venues on 17 March and remained in the dark for 3 months until 13 June.

The Czech Republic is one of few European countries where casinos were strictly prohibited until very recently – 3 December. The Czech casinos didn’t even have a chance to start the recovery process, as they were allowed to operate at a very limited capacity and limited schedule. However, the country’s number of COVID cases started growing so rapidly that the government had to send the venues back under lockdown starting from 18 December. Though the original plan is to have the casinos closed only until 23 December, nobody knows how things go after the holidays, so only time will tell.

The Netherlands land-based gambling properties also experience hard times. On 14 December, the government introduced new pandemic-related restrictions, according to which Holland Casino is required to shut down all its 14 venues until 19 January 2021. Even though each of the 14 Holland Casino properties took all the required precautionary measures, the rapidly increasing number of COVID cases in the country forced them to suspend operations temporarily. The casinos were previously closed from mid-March to 1 July. After that, they started operating at a limited capacity and were divided into the 30-person ‘playrooms’ to keep social distancing. The second time the gambling venues had to shut down was in November, with the lockdown lasting for 2 weeks. So, this will be the third total lockdown for Holland Casino.

French casino operators are out of luck this year. On 30 October, France went on the second national lockdown and initially was planning to get back to normal life starting from 1 December.

However, Casinos de France announced that the lockdown will be extended to 15 December due to a number of COVID-related reasons. When the “day X” came, all French gambling venues were really looking forward to opening their doors, but the government ruined their plans at the last second. According to the officials, all land-based gambling properties and other “cultural” venues would remain in dark for at least 3 weeks.

Denmark is another European country where gambling operators continue suffering from pandemic-related restrictions. Thus, the government announced another lockdown last week, which was expected to suspend operations of all casinos and other gambling venues in 38 municipalities. However, on 16 December, the government decided to apply the restrictions to all municipalities. This means that the Danish casinos are about to remain closed from 17 December to 3 January.


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