Dutch casinos may be able to reopen on July 1, two months earlier than previously announced.
Casinos are set to reopen on July 1, two months earlier than expected, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge have announced.
The state-owned operator Holland Casino and national industry association VAN Kansspelen had strongly criticised the previous government decision not to allow casinos to reopen until September 1.
The Dutch casinos have been closed since mid-March as part of Covid-19 lockdown measures.
Representatives of Holland Casino and VAN Kansspele met government representatives to voice their concerns, succeeding in potentially bringing forward the date for reopening.
Rutte said that the date would be brought forward to July 1 “only if it is really possible,” based on social distancing rules, and with casinos operating with reduced capacity.
VAN Kansspelen welcomed the move.
Chairman Frits Huffnagel said: “Recently, we as a sector have worked hard to be corona-proof and have had many conversations with stakeholders. In doing so, we convinced the cabinet that we can safely open again for our guests.”
He said the association had created a Covid-19 protocol for members to follow in order to ensure the safe reopening of casinos with limited capacity and space for social distancing.
He said: “It will take some getting used to again when we open up with a range of measures to make visiting a casino safe and enjoyable. We could have opened today, but we are very much looking forward to welcoming guests again as of 1 July.
The sector has gone through a difficult time due to the mandatory closure. From July 1, capacity will be less than guests of our members are used to, but a night out in a casino will soon be possible again.”