France begins reopening casinos following weeks-long COVID-19 shutdown

France begins reopening casinos following weeks-long COVID-19 shutdown

Gamblers and sports betting community in France will once again be able to try their luck and have fun in casinos as the French authorities have started working on reopening some of the entertainment venues that have remained closed since March due to corona virus pandemic.

France is home to nearly two hundred casinos that will be allowed to reopen their doors to the public later today if they are situated within one of the country’s ‘green’ zones. It may be noted here that a green zones are designated area where the risk of falling victim to corona virus has been accessed as low.

According to media reports, every one of the European country’s 96 administrative departments with the exclusion of the densely populated, urbanized Ile-de-France has been classified as green zones. It means that merely those casinos that are situated within or near the capital city of Paris will be prohibited from resuming operations for the time being.

Dominique Desseigne, CEO at French casino operator Groupe Lucien Barriere, said his company’s 33 casinos would feature a special focus on reorganizing their gaming floors to ensure more distance between gaming machines and gaming tables.

Speaking on the topic, Desseigne said, “The gradual re-opening of the majority of our establishments is great news for our group. Faced with this health and economic crisis … our employees have mobilized, each in their own way, to bring their expertise and innovative ideas to implement new health protocols and anticipate the new expectations of our customers in our hotels, restaurants, bars and casinos.”

Groupe Partouche, the Paris-headquartered operator of more than three dozen casinos across France, said it would partially resume operations, with its casinos only featuring electronic table games and slots. The casino operator also announced that strict precautionary measures, such as ensuring proper distance among visitors and asking guests to wear face masks, will be implemented.

To ensure public health safety, casinos are also being guided to sanitize and clearly mark off non-gaming areas like registration desks, elevators and lobbies to ensure that visitors keep a safe distance from others. Employees will be provided with additional protective equipment like gloves. In addition, the employees will get training on safety and disinfection protocols.

As of Monday, the deadly corona virus pandemic infected more than 151,300 people and claimed nearly 29,000 lives in France. However, authorities decided to reopen non-essential businesses like casinos as recovery rate is showing signs of improvement.