French Casinos to Reopen December 15 After Extended Second National Lockdown

  • The casinos will reopen after being in lockdown since October 30
  • Customers must register upon entering a casino to help with contract tracing
  • Gambling venues will use the TousAntiCovid contract tracing app
  • Casinos de France says reopening will help protect players from illegal gambling operations  
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Casinos in France will reopen on December 15 after a second lockdown with COVID-19 protocols in place. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Land-based sector reopening

On December 15, French casinos will be operational once again. Trade union Casinos de France reports that the country’s land-based gaming industry will be back in business within a few weeks. The union stresses the importance of reopening as essential for citizen well-being and the economy.

The reopening of casinos in France comes after an extended second national lockdown, which began on October 30. It was supposed to end on December 1, but was lengthened, with only essential businesses permitted to remain open.

Continued restrictions for French casinos

Casinos de France worked to make the reopening process happen while still respecting the new measures the government put in place regarding the pandemic. The union pointed out in its reopening announcement that the casinos must get back to work, as the venues drive local economies.

The casinos are responsible for 15,000 direct jobs and 45,000 indirect employment positions. Each year, the industry generates £1.2bn ($1.6bn) in taxes.

Today, French casinos are prepared to provide further protection for customers and collaborators. The union stated that with the reopening, more stringent capacity limits will be in place. For instance, customers must register upon entry, a requirement that will assist in traceability and is still compliant with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).

Casinos will use TousAntiCovid, a contract tracing application, and take the temperature of customers as they enter the facility. Operators will disinfect regularly to promote a clean environment.

Protecting the public

In France, casinos originally shut down in early 2020 and reopened in June with strict health protocols in place. At that time, measures instituted included disinfection, physical barriers between players and staff members, and face-covering usage. These measures will remain in place this time around as well.

help ensure the country’s health and public order

The union reiterated the need for physical casino operations due to the increase in illegal online gaming activity among the country’s citizens. Casinos de France said that such sites have no controls for problem gambling mitigation, protecting minors, or money laundering. By reopening the casinos quickly, the organization claims, it will help ensure the country’s health and public order.

In April, during the first lockdown, ARJEL ordered online poker operators to stop offering bonuses amidst the pandemic. France’s gambling regulator stated at the time that the lockdown had resulted in an increase in online poker traffic.

The regulator asked gambling firms to stay vigilant during the lockdown as more players log in, reminding them to monitor customer behavior.