Euro casino ops get COVID coal for Christmas

Casinos across Europe are rapidly losing their Christmas spirit as governments order them back under pandemic lockdown.

On Wednesday, Melco Resorts & Entertainment’s Cyprus offshoot Cyprus Casinos (C2) posted a note to its website announcing that it would “temporarily suspend” operations at all four of its gaming venues “according to the government directive.”

The notice applies specifically to two of C2’s smaller satellite venues, as one other satellite location and C2’s larger ‘temporary’ casino in Limassol were forced to close in November. This is the second lockdown for C2, which shut all four venues in mid-March and didn’t reopen until the summer.

In the Czech Republic, land-based gambling venues were permitted to emerge from their original lockdown on December 3, albeit it under strict capacity restrictions and limited hours of operation.

However, the COVID situation has re-escalated so rapidly that the government has ordered casinos back under lockdown starting at 12:00 am Friday (18). The current plan is for them to stay shut only until 11:59pm on December 23, but time will tell.

On Monday, the Netherlands announced new pandemic restrictions that required Holland Casino to close all 14 of its venues until January 19, 2021. The casinos were originally closed in mid-March and didn’t reopen until July 1, with limited hours, no non-gaming amenities, and requirements for customers to make reservations just to gain access to one of the 30-person ‘playrooms’ into which the gaming floors had been sub-divided.

In France, the casinos that had already endured two shutdowns were all set to emerge from their cocoons on Tuesday but the government yanked that football away at the last second. Officials apologized but said casinos and other ‘cultural’ operations would have to remain dark for another three weeks (at least).

We’ll finish in Denmark, where last week saw the government announce the closure of all casinos and slots halls in 38 municipalities. On Wednesday, the government announced that the shutdown would now apply to all of the country’s municipalities. This latest shutdown is currently slated to run through January 3.

And to all a good freaking night…

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