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COVID Pressures Continue into 2022 for ECA Members

31 january 2022
Author: James Burton
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The ECA, Europe's biggest association of casino establishments, has published the findings of its official survey. This research details the influence of COVID-19 preventive measures which have been enforced lately by multiple European governments.

COVID-19 pressures continue into 2022 for ECA members

General Statistical Data

The average number of non-working days in the continent’s casinos due to the pandemic stands at 150. Nowadays, the majority of countries are slowly but surely reopening their gambling facilities, with Denmark and the Netherlands opting against it for now. Still, there are plenty of restrictions, starting with the range of hours in which gambling spaces can function and ending with the limitation on services that may be provided to the guests.

According to the poll's data, Hungarian casinos were in a shutdown mode for the fewest days in the last year, with the average number standing at 54. On the contrary, France's statistics regarding the closing of the local gambling dens are the highest, with 199 days being the average.

COVID-19 Prevention Norms

Almost all the establishments in Europe, with only a small number of exceptions, require their visitors to provide the vaccination certificate and evidence of testing negative.

Most of the rules of maintaining social distance vary depending on the country. For instance, Swedish gaming spaces extend it to 1 m, while in Polish casinos, it is limited to 15 m. Besides, there are limitations on slot machines, as every other one is not available for the customers, creating distance between them.

An overwhelming majority of gambling facilities all over the continent require masks to be worn by everyone who enters the building. A lot of businesses regularly test their employees and enforce certain norms regarding hygiene.

In many establishments, eating food and drinking is strictly banned. Most countries of Europe have installed a curfew of 10−11 pm when the casinos usually close.

Official Comments

According to the chairperson of the European Casino Association, Per Jaldung, the restrictions, although necessary, are a huge challenge for the gambling businesses. Even though most of the land-based spaces are still open, there are certain curfew norms and other restrictions that make the functioning of the dens more complicated than it used to be.

The offline casinos already have to fight hard to preserve their current locations and bring the necessary extra income to every country's budget. So, the expert called for support from the authorities to continue this year. In his words, slot machine spaces are essential to the revenue that European countries receive annually, as they help to bring tourists and promote the segment of entertainment.

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