Dutch Casinos hit With COVID-19 Curfew, Online Gambling Still a No-go

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COVID-19 continues to make its mark on different industries. Running casinos in The Netherlands has suddenly become a lot more difficult. The introduction of a new curfew in certain regions puts a different spin on this entire concept. 

A Curfew for Casinos in the Netherlands

It is not entirely surprising to see this curfew imposed due to COVID-19. Across Europe, the number of confirmed cases has skyrocketed in recent weeks. As such, new rules and restrictions must be put in place to prevent it from spreading further. Unfortunately for Dutch casino owners, that will introduce some major changes.

More specifically, casinos must be fully closed by 1 am in certain regions. This includes casinos and slot halls in Amsterdam-Amstelland, Haaglanden, Hollands Midden, Utrecht, and Rijnmond. The new requirement has gone into effect yesterday. New customers can no longer be admitted after midnight, and both lights and music must be shut down at this time too.

Whether this is a smart decision, remains to be seen. Imposing such a rule for bars and restaurants makes sense. Extending it to casinos and slot halls may not necessarily have much effect. At the same time, these locations will often attract people looking for some extra fun or drinks. Ensuring they go home is the main order of business during this pandemic.

It has been a rough year for casinos and slot halls in the Netherlands. Between mid-March and July 1st, they remained closed, Less than 3 months after reopening, they now face this curfew. It will take quite some time before things go back to normal, by the look of things. 

Still no Decision on Online Gambling

For quite some time now, the Netherlands has had to determine if online gambling is legal. Without any clear direction on the matter, casino operators cannot extend their services to the virtual world. Legalizing this industry can bring in tremendous revenue. Rendering a decision, however, may take until early 2021.

The Dutch gambling regulator accepts online license applications once the Remote Gambling Act goes into effect. Currently, this is slated to occur in January of 2021. It can take six months for applications to be processed. Dutch people seeking their gambling fix will have to do so before 1 am, or try their luck elsewhere. 


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