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French casinos to reopen today

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Casinos in France will reopen today (2 June) after a shutdown that started in March to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

Casinos in France will reopen today (2 June) after a shutdown that started in March to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19).

Casinos in 'green zones' – administrative departments where risk of transmission is low – will be permitted to reopen, while those in the 'orange zone' (where there is a higher risk of transmission) will have to remain closed. All of France except for Paris and the surrounding administrative department Ile-de-France are classed as green zones.

Operators will be required to take measures to ensure social distancing measures are in place on-site, to prevent transmission of Covid-19.

Groupe Partouche said it would reopen all 38 of its casinos in the country, but will only make slot machines and electronic games available. These machines will then be spaced apart with a plexiglass screen between each machine, while the machines will be regularly disinfected.

Table games will be available at a later stage, the operator said.

All customers and staff will have to wear masks, while staff will receive extra training on protective measures against the virus.

Groupe Barrière, which operates 33 properties across France, said that digitalisation has been a major focus in its casinos, in order to limit interaction between staff and patrons. In addition, it said it had reorganised its gaming floors in order to make physical distancing easier.

While most venues will reopen, its properties in Paris and Ile-de-France, in the orange zone, will remain closed for the time being.

“The gradual reopening of the majority of our establishments is great news for our group,”  Dominique Desseigne, president and chief executive, of Barrière said.

“Faced with this health and economic crisis that affects all sectors and particularly that of tourism and leisure, our employees have mobilised, 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.”

Today, we want to take an active part in the economic recovery of tourism in France and be a player in the return to conviviality and serenity. Our only mission: we take care of everything, especially you.” 

Hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes will be made available throughout both operators’ premises.

Casinos in Switzerland, where Partouche also operates, will reopen on 6 June.

Casinos in the Netherlands are set to reopen on 1 July, while those in Bulgaria reopened yesterday. Casinos in Austria reopened on 29 May.

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