French casinos set to reopen 15 December

By Owain Flanders

After a second period of COVID-19 forced closures, French casinos are set to reopen their doors from 15 December, according to trade union Casinos de France.

France has been in its second national lockdown since 30 October, during which only essential shops have been permitted to remain open. Gambling facilities such as casinos, betting shops and bingo halls have been forced to remain closed throughout.

The reopening process will be completed within a strict health and safety framework. Casinos de France said casinos are prepared to go “even further in protecting customers and collaborators” than after the first lockdown. Casinos will implement restrictions to capacity and require mandatory registration to allow for traceability, among other measures.

Casinos de France detailed the detrimental impact of lockdowns to the French casino industry, which represents 15,000 direct and 45,000 indirect jobs.

The industry group also suggested the lockdown had caused an increase in the use of illegal unlicensed online operators, leaving vulnerable customers unprotected by responsible gambling regulation.

Earlier this week, France Galop predicted a continued lockdown would cost the French horse racing industry around €30m ($35.6m).

The governing body for French horseracing attributed such a loss to the closure of betting shops, despite horse racing being permitted to continue during the second lockdown.

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