Holland Casino reopens after Covid-19-enforced closure

| By Daniel O'Boyle
Holland Casino has reopened all 14 of its facilities today (1 July) after closures forced by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Holland Casino has reopened all 14 of its facilities today (1 July) after closures forced by the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

Slot arcades in the country are also permitted to open as of today.

The venues had been closed since mid-March and were initially only scheduled to reopen on 1 September.

However, after the delayed reopening was criticised by both the operator and national gambling industry trade association VAN Kansspelen, Prime Minister Mark Rutte and Health Minister Hugo de Jonge announced the reopening date would be brought forward to 1 July.

“We are very happy that we are open again and that we can fulfill our social task,” Holland Casino chief executive Erwin van Lambaart said. “As of today, our valued guests can safely and responsibly enjoy our hospitality and our exciting range of games.

“We have fully furnished all branches in accordance with the 1.5m [social] distancing guidelines, while retaining the atmospheric ambiance that the Netherlands is used to from us. We do ask everyone to make a reservation and adhere to the published guidelines.”

Van Lambaart added that slot machines, blackjack and roulette tables will all be available, as will bars and restaurants on site.

“Our 4,000 employees are ready for our guests and have received special training,” van Lambaart continued.

Holland Casino has put in place a special safety plan drawn up by itself and VAN Kansspelen based on advice provided by a host of different government departments.

“We have worked hard to set up our casinos in accordance with the protocol and all guidelines of the RIVM [National Institute for Public Health and the Environment], without compromising the atmosphere and our hospitality,” van Lambaart concluded.

VAN Kansspel welcomed the reopening of both Holland Casino and slot arcades across the nation.

“Together with Holland Casino and our members, VAN Kansspelen has worked hard to reopen slot machine casinos in the country,” the trade association said. “With an extensive Covid-19 protocol that further outlines the 1.5m distancing rule in practice and further enhances the hygiene of locations, the slot machine sector can fully restart from 1 July.”

These protocols include increased spacing of seats between slot machines, limits on the maximum number of guests in a venue and instructions that potential players with a family member who has recorded a fever must stay home. Masks are not required for players or employees, but the guidelines noted that this may change with updated guidance from the RIVM.

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