Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte signed a ’emergency decree’ late on Sunday, imposing a further national lockdown in Italy, trying to prevent a further wave of the COVID-19 pandemic that ravaged Italy’s emergency services.
The Italian government, sanctioning a raft of lockdown orders, pointed to a dramatic increase in new infections that had reached 25,000 daily by last Wednesday, with an additional 1,500 new patients being treated in intensive care units.
Italian bars and restaurants have been ordered from Monday to close on weekdays from 6 pm, with complete closures on Sundays, as Italians are ordered not to move outside their local municipalities.
Branded by the Decree as non-essential establishments, the betting shops, arcades and bingo halls of Italy were forced to shut down until 24 November.
Lotto and SuperEnalotto ticket sales, facing an autumn under lockout, will be the only vertical retail open to Italian customers, at supermarkets, kiosks and tobacconists that can guarantee social distancing.
Italy’s Ministry of Finance, releasing its interim statement, noted that the 100-day mandatory closure of all gambling venues had cost the government a loss of tax revenue of EUR 2 billion.
Sapar, As. Tro and Acadi, the main trade bodies of Italian gambling, immediately lambasted Conte’s orders, claiming that after all companies had renovated their venues / stores to be COVID-19 safe, no gaming venue had reported an outbreak of COVID-19.
Acadi reports that operators have lost a total of EUR 1,8 billion in sales in 2020 and will bear total losses of EUR 700 million by the end of November trading, monitoring Italy’s gaming venues and machine results.
The Conte government is currently waiting for Italian retail, leisure and hospitality companies to unveil its new relief plan for companies penalised by the new coronavirus restrictions as it strives to minimise rising social unrest.