French Casinos Set for Mid-December Re-Opening
French trade union Casinos de France has confirmed that casinos in the country will be able to reopen from 15 December.
France went in to a second national lockdown at the end of October, with non-essential shops, casinos, betting shops and other leisure facilities forced to close.
Casinos will have to operate within a strict health and safety framework once they do re-open, with Casinos de France saying the measures may go further than they did after the first lockdown.
Among the measures is the requirement to restrict capacity and request mandatory registration so that all those entering the casinos can be traced. Masks, Perspex screens, social distancing and regular cleaning have also been used throughout the crisis.
While the trade union was clear that casinos were prepared to take whatever measures necessary to restrict the spread of covid-19, it was just as direct about the economic impact the lockdowns have had on the sector.
It said the casino industry was responsible for 15,000 direct jobs, 45,000 indirect jobs and generated €1.4bn (£1.24bn/$1.77bn) per year in taxes, including €400m (£354m/$471m) for local communities.
Casinos de France also added its voice to many in the industry who have pointed out that the closure of licensed operators leads to increased use of those that are unlicensed.
Earlier this week, the French governing body for horse racing, France Galop, forecast that a continuation of lockdown would cost the horse racing industry in France around €30m (£27m/$35.6m).
Horse racing was actually permitted to continue during the second lockdown. However, the governing body attributed the potential loss to the closure of betting shops.