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video conferences, in which the participants could exchange information on current developments live and discuss pressing problems with their industry colleagues.


Solving some of the questions raised in these video conferences clearly required external expertise, and the ECA therefore arranged a series of webinars with external experts. Fast and efficient web surveys were likewise organised to help members address and contend Coronavirus measures taken by their government and regulators affecting their casinos.


Troughout the entire period, the ECA team conducted corresponding research and compiled and distributed information on best practice regarding hygiene products, measures, and a range of other post-lockdown challenges facing reopening businesses in the tourism and leisure industry.


Te exchange among ECA members became really intense when the first casinos in Europe were allowed to reopen their doors. Questions abounded. How would guests react to the numerous hygiene measures? Which gambling products were now in demand and which were not? Had gambling habits


and behaviour changed? Would guests return at all or had they become loyal customers of online gambling websites in the meantime?


On May 6, the time had finally come, and Casino Sopron in Hungary was one of the first casinos in Europe that was allowed to reopen its doors. Shortly afterwards, the ECA organised a web conference for its members to facilitate the exchange of first-hand experience with reopening.


All activities had only one purpose; to keep customers and staff safe in the casinos, while getting the wheels to start turning again. In the weeks that followed, casinos were gradually allowed to reopen in a number of European countries. In others, the reopening date took (or is taking) longer to arrive – much to the disadvantage of the desperate operators. In the UK, for example, casinos were not allowed to reopen until August 15, while in Sweden, casinos still remain closed.


Te economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis for the European casino industry are enormous, and its long-term effects cannot yet be fully assessed. Revenues in the majority of European casinos in


The economic consequences of the COVID-19 crisis for the European casino industry are enormous, and its long- term effects cannot yet be fully assessed. Revenues in the majority of European casinos in 2020 are likely to decline by between 30 per cent and 60 per cent compared to 2019. For some individual casino operations that were already confronted with economic challenges before the Coronavirus, the crisis may mean the end.


NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE / MARKET DATA P41


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