Italian Casinos to Close Again
Italy is suffering through a new outbreak of the COVID-19 virus, resulting in restrictions that will once again close the casino industry. Premier Giuseppe Conte imposed a nationwide nightly curfew, as well as dividing the country into three distinct zones. The decree goes into effect on November 5th and is expected to last until December 3rd.
These are not the first measures in response to the second wave of the virus. On October 24th, a decree ordered the evening closure of restaurants and bars, as well as the total shuttering of cinemas, gyms, and theatres.
Despite the previous measures, Italy reported 28,244 new infections on November 3rd. The previous day, the number was 22,253. Deaths from the virus also rose to 353 on November 3rd, which was the highest daily total since May 6th.
The Bottom Line
Since the COVID-19 pandemic started, Italy has recorded 790,377 cases of the virus. Of that total, 307,378 citizens have made a complete recovery, while 39,764 have died.
The first cases of the virus were confirmed on January 31st, 2020, when two Chinese tourists brought COVID-19 to Rome. A week later, an Italian man returned from a trip to Wuhan, China, and you can imagine how that turned out.
Italy has been one of the hardest hit nations on the planet. However, the citizens rallied under quarantine, with numerous Internet videos showing people singing on their balconies to lift the spirits of neighbours. Unfortunately, they’re now facing the second wave, and these extended periods of isolation threaten to sap the country’s collective will.
In addition to the zones, a number of overall rules have been put into place for the county. These include:
- An evening curfew from 10pm until 5am.
- All high schools must adopt distance learning.
- Maximum capacity on public transportation will be 50%.
- Shopping malls must close on the weekends.
- Working from home will be heavily encouraged.
- All galleries and museums are closed during this phase.
The Three Zones
Italy has been divided into three color-coded zones. These include:
- Yellow (safer, but still requires caution)
- Orange (intermediate risk)
- Red (high risk)
While details are still evolving, here’s what we know about the zones so far:
- Yellow – The national rules listed above will apply, but there are no additional restrictions at this time. Any area not categorized as red or orange will be included.
- Orange – Applies to Campania, Liguria, Veneto, and Puglia. Residents in orange zones can only travel to other areas for essential reasons. All bars and food businesses must be closed to the public (although takeout and home delivery are still allowed). Bookshops and hairdressers will remain open.
- Red – Applies to Calabria, Lombardy, South Tyrol, Valle d’Aosta, and Piedmont. Movement into and out of the zone is forbidden except for essential reasons (and citizens must obtain a form as proof). As with the orange zones, bars and restaurants must be closed to the public. Only essential shops can remain open, such as food, tobacco, bookshops, and stationary. Hairdressers and beauticians can remain open. Distance learning is mandatory for grades two and up. All sporting events are suspended.
Effects on Gambling
While Premier Conte wants to avoid a lockdown and possible economic disaster, the casino and gaming industries still face hard times. They were trying to stage a recovery in the last quarter of 2020, but now they’ll have to endure new estimated losses of $2.1 billion.
No cases of COVID-19 have been reported at a gaming venue in weeks. However, that won’t stop the latest restrictions from closing down casinos for at least the next month.
Some lawmakers have expressed concerns that illegal gambling will thrive. But despite the impending casino closures, citizens can still purchase lotto tickets. Whether or not that will be enough for residents remains to be seen.
For more news about gambling and the COVID-19 pandemic, please see the following articles:
- Las Vegas COVID Update
- ACT Casino Reopens, Auckland Casino Closes
- Tabcorp Endures Troubled Times
- Australians Gamble More during Coronavirus