A new decree has been issued by the Consultative Committee of Belgium, which has replaced the National Security Council of the previous government, specifying that casinos, slot halls and arcades will only allow a maximum of 40 people through their doors.
The Belgian government has described the situation as ‘serious’ but not yet ‘desperate’ with coronavirus infection rates on the rise.
Casinos have had a curfew of 11:30pm enforced amid concerns of a complete lockout, they can’t open until 6:00am, and must get guests to register their track and trace contact information.
No food or drink is permitted to be sold or consumed on site, and face masks must be worn by clients. At the start of July, Belgium’s nine casinos reopened.
The nation’s betting shops started to reopen in June after shutting in March in reaction to the pandemic. On 1 July, alongside a resumption of touch sports contests, casinos followed shortly behind.
In April, the Belgian government gave its citizens guidance on how to defend themselves when under lockdown from problem gambling.
It advised those suffering gambling-related damage to self-exclude themselves from online operators, and advised anyone worried about their gambling to contact the helpline ‘SOS Jeux’ and chat about their problems with an advisor.
It provided advice after stating that more people than average would access igaming services during the period of lockdown, and can experience gambling-related harm during the period of lockdown.