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Covid-19 regulations continue to affect ECA members

Members of the European Casino Association (ECA) are still feeling the heavy effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, a recent survey has revealed. 

covidmask

The study, conducted at the start of 2022, included all 28 members from across Europe. Its aim was to track the impact of Covid-19 measures implemented by governments across the continent, and understand just how those measures continue to affect business. 

Per Jaldung, Chairman of the ECA, commented: “Closures, curbs and curfews continue to disrupt the normal flow of operations for ECA members into 2022. While the majority of casinos in Europe are open for business, the restrictions on opening times, the reduction of the gaming and F&B offer, plus further guest and staff requirements continue to put enormous pressures on the business.  

“Government help and support needs to continue into 2022 as ECA members battle to keep their locations open to provide entertainment, employment and tax revenues, as they play an essential role within the international tourism and leisure industry.” 

The results of the survey lay bare the impact of the pandemic, with European casinos facing, on average, 150 days of closure during 2021. While the majority of countries now allow casinos to open, almost all have some level of curfew or restrictions in place. Of the countries included, France experienced the highest number of closures, at 199 days, while Hungary got off relatively lightly, with 54.  

The wide variety of restrictions enforced is another negative for casinos, many of which are owned by pan-European operators. Swedish casino guests must remain seated at all times; events in Luxembourg are limited to 200 people; Estonian facilities face an 11pm curfew; while UK staff have been told to work from home wherever possible. 

In addition, the survey reveals that proof of vaccination is required at 95% of European casinos, which has impacted the volume of guests venues attract from the tourism industry. Other detrimental factors include social distancing and mandatory masks for guests.


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