National Lockdown Orders Affect Several Countries Casinos
England, Italy, and Germany are just three countries affected by recent lockdowns where gambling facilities are shutdown yet again.
Things are not looking so hot for casinos in several European countries. New lockdowns are in effect, leaving betting shops, casinos, and bingo halls closed for an extended period of time. The largest closure began on January 4, when Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that England will be subject to another national lockdown. All nonessential businesses will remain closed through February 15 and possibly longer after a new review of the COVID-19 pandemic. This new lockdown mirrors the very first from March, when strong restrictions were in place.
Land-Based Gambling Sector Closed
With the latest lockdown, the land-based gambling sector is completely shut down. All betting venues can no longer offers services, and the public is not allowed to leave their homes unless absolutely necessary. The goal is to limit exposure to the virus as much as possible.
A new variant of COVID-19 has been discovered in the country and it is believed to be far more contagious than the first variant. Because of this, people of England must stay in their homes unless they need groceries, have a Dr.’s appointment, go to work or want to exercise outside.
Medical officers in the UK want the country to go to alert level 5 regarding the virus. They feel that a lack of action now will lead to the National Health Services being overwhelmed in no time. As or right now, the country has seen over 2.6 million positive coronavirus cases. Over 75,000 people have died from the virus.
Gambling Sector Hit Hard
Because the new order is similar to the one from March, all gambling facilities are in lockdown. Casinos and other facilities will not be able to reopen until mid-February, and that will only happen if the country can get a handle on the new number of positive cases.
After the announcement was made by Johnson, the British Horseracing Authority confirmed that racing will continue. Fans will not be allowed to visit the tracks during events and only those who are essential to the operations of the races will be in attendance.
Any staff members onsite will be subject to strict protocols to ensure the safety of everyone on site. Sports have been allowed to continue as well, including the English Premier League. Fans will still have something to wager on via the online sector, which is good news for some operators.
As mentioned, other countries are locking down as well in the hopes of avoiding a new surge of positive cases. The Scottish Government recently told its residents to stay home. The country will remain in lockdown through the end of January.
Italy has also been affected. Everything is shut down in the country until an announcement is provided on January 16. The region of Veneto has the highest number of cases and it is also home to large offerings of amusement games and entertainment.
In Germany, the lockdown of the country has extended through the end of this month. The country has been subject to criticism regarding its vaccination program, due to upcoming elections. In Austria, casinos as well as bars and machine facilities will remain closed through January 24.
Other European countries are considering taking new action as well as try and thwart the virus. In the US, the same old same old applies. States are taking action on an individual basis and many citizens continue to avoid following precautions such as social gatherings and mask wearing.
When president elect Joe Biden takes office later in the month, the hope of many is that he will enforce a federal order regarding the virus so all states will be on one page and hopefully the number of positive cases will start to decrease.