The curfew measure imposed on casinos and gambling halls by the Government in the Netherlands has been extended to include more parts of the country. Seeking to prevent the further spread of the novel coronavirus, authorities expanded the geographical scope of the 1 am closure rule, effective September 27.
The new restrictions were initially imposed on gambling establishments in 6 regions of the Netherlands, Amsterdam-Amstelland, Rotterdam-Rijnmond, Haaglanden, Utrecht, Kennemerland, and Hollands Midden. The curfew measure which entered into force Sunday, September 20, required casinos and other entertainment venues to not allow new guests inside the properties after midnight, switch on the lights and stop the music to urge guests to leave, as by 1 am all venues must be closed.
Safety Regions Number Expands
As of September 27, the curfew measure included venues in Groningen, Flevoland, Zuid-Holland Zuid, Gelderland-Zuid, Gooi en Vechtstreek, Zaanstreek -Waterland, Brabant-Noord and Brabant Zuidoost, to make the total number of regions covered by the restriction to 14.
By the time the new rule was announced by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport, there was confusion in the Dutch gambling trade association, VAN Kansspelen, as the curfew measure appeared to apply only to bars and restaurants, but the written version of the order cleared that it was also applicable to casinos and gambling halls, as well as cinemas and theatres.
VAN Kansspelen Reminded Operators About Their Duties
VAN Kansspelen advised its members that, as part of the new rules, gatherings of more than 50 people, including private parties inside casinos or gambling halls, should be reported to the Ministry. The trade association used the occasion to reiterate existing requirements for gambling venues, to make sure they operate in compliance with the coronavirus regulations.
Each gaming facility should appoint a “Corona Coordinator” to make sure all health and safety requirements are strictly followed. At any time there should be no more than 100 customers inside a gambling venue, each customer should disinfect hands before entering and maintain a physical distance from other guests of 1.5m. Casino and gambling hall staff should clean every slot machine after it has been used.
Dutch casinos and gambling halls were initially scheduled to reopen September 1, after being shut down in March to sustain governmental efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus, but were given the green light to resume business earlier. Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge brought forward the reopening date to July 1, after being subdued to pressure by the trade industry body and the main operator Holland Casino.