Earlier this year the increasing number of vaccinations against COVID-19, combined with the relatively stable amount of positive cases helped the gambling and hospitality industry to start its recovery. But after the summer, the number of positive COVID cases continued to grow, resulting in a return of restrictions.
Another Annual Poker Event Postponed Due to the Pandemic
Earlier this week, Grand Casino de Namur announced that it decided to postpone the 2021 Belgian Poker Challenge (BPC). The annual series was planned to start on December 9 and continue through December 19, 2021, featuring multiple events. Unfortunately, the organizers took the difficult decision to postpone the event. A statement released on Monday by Grand Casino de Namur reveals that the event is expected to take place next year, but a solid date is yet to be confirmed.
“Due to the latest government rules in Belgium, we have to postpone the BPC 2021 to 2022,”reads a statement released by Circus Poker – Grand Casino de Namur
The organizers acknowledged that the new COVID-related restrictions introduced in the country are the prime reason to postpone BPC 2021 to 2022. Grand Casino de Namur thanked Grand everyone that helped prepare the event and vowed to share more details regarding the tournament soon.
The latest announcement comes after last week, another major tournament was postponed. Although PokerStars announced its plans to launch ETP Prague on December 8, last week, the network said that it decided to postpone the event. The decision to postpone EPT Prague came amid rising COVID-19 cases in the Czech Republic and new COVID-related measures introduced by the government.
The Situation in Belgium Is Worse than the Worst-Case Scenario
The latest announcement about the BPC postponement doesn’t come unexpected, considering that last week, Belgium rolled out new COVID-related restrictions. The restrictions are the result of rising positive COVID-19 cases. In fact, Politico revealed last week that Prime Minister Alexander De Croo deemed the situation “much worse than the worst-case scenario established by the experts.”
As a result, the country introduced a strict mask mandate for public places. Additionally, the measures shut the doors on nightclubs and rolled out an 11 PM curfew for restaurants and bars among other businesses. Besides the curfew, a limit of six people per table was introduced for restaurants with an only exception if the members are from the same family.
Under the new restrictions, weddings and funerals are allowed but private parties have been prohibited. The regulations also recommend people who can work from home do so at least 3-4 days per week.
What is known so far is that the new measures are going to be in place for at least 3 weeks. However, the Belgian government officials haven’t ruled out the possibility of extending the measures or introducing even stricter restrictions.