Customers of casinos and other retail gambling establishments in the Netherlands are facing new restrictions due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Casinos and slot halls reopened on July 1, having been closed since March. But the Netherlands government has now announced the extension of curfew measures applicable to casinos and slot halls in several additional regions of the country as part of an effort to help to prevent further spread of the virus.
The restrictions took effect from Sunday and apply to venues in Groningen, Flevoland, Zuid-Holland Zuid, Gelderland-Zuid, Gooi- en Vechtstreek, Zaanstreek en Waterland, Noord-Brabant Noord and Noord-Brabant Zuidoost, all of which will have to be fully closed by 01:00 each day
The Netherlands gambling trade association VAN Kansspelen has also advised that gatherings of 50 or more people at gambling venues should be immediately reported to Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport.
To help venues and customers understand the rules, VAN Kansspelen has republished existing requirements for all gambling venues to bring them in line with the regulations. These include the requirement for guests to disinfect their hands before going into the facility and keeping 1.5 metres apart at all times when inside. Staff are required to clean slot machines after each use.
A maximum number of 100 customers will be allowed inside any gambling venue at any one time, and each facility has to appoint a ‘Corona Coordinator’ in order to ensure that all of the Covid-19 requirements are being correctly adhered to by the venue operator.
At the same time, the Netherlands business and employee federations MKB-Nederland and VNO-NCW have announced the launch of a new campaign via social media that calls for all Dutch citizens to fully comply with Covid-19 measures so that a second national lockdown can be avoided.
The campaign asks people to ‘pull out all of the stops’ to help to prevent a second wave and another lockdown. In a statement, the organisations appealed to businesses and other bodies to spread the message to boost its effectiveness and urged people to comply:
“If we continue on this line, healthcare will again be overburdened and we risk ending up in a second lockdown and we will all be back home soon. Our economy will shrink further, with disastrous consequences for jobs, business, welfare and future tax revenues. This must absolutely be avoided.”
The two bodies have also issued a call for the national Netherlands government to provide enhanced testing across the country in order to help prevent the further spread of the coronavirus.