Europe’s largest poker room, the King’s Casino in Rozvadov, has announced this week that it has banned all players who have come from Italy to its resort “to prevent the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) infection.”
The announcement was made on Monday through the resorts official Facebook account and comes off the back of the first coronavirus case to be registered in the Czech Republic’s capital, Prague.
The new policy has forced the cancellation of events which were scheduled to take place in March and April. The restriction was announced with an immediate effect and will remain in place as officials monitor the situation.
King’s Casino management said they will lift the ban as soon as the situation improves. The statement said: “King’s Resort communicates with regret to its customers that, given the evolution of the epidemic phenomenon coronavirus that, for a few hours, has been interested in the Czech Republic.
“In order to safeguard the health of our international guests and prevent the spread of the COVID-19, we have chosen to completely limit access in all areas of the casino, not even accepting hotel reservations, to all residents and coming from Italy indefinitely, cancelling from now all the events of March and April 2020 that target mainly target the audience mentioned above.
“Given the constant evolution of the situation, we will follow any new developments, in the hope of removing this limitation to an audience to whom we are very fond of, giving timely communication via our channels as soon as possible.
“We inform you that, unless new provisions, the Poker Room events calendar remains unchanged from May 1, 2020 onwards.”
As of today (5, March) there have been 3,089 reported cases of the coronavirus in Italy, the most serious outbreak in Europe, with 107 fatalities.
Globally there have been 3,200 people who have died from the virus with more than 90,000 people reported to be infected, with the vast majority in China, where the virus emerged late last year.
This is the latest in a line of casinos taking extra precaution due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Oregon casino was forced to shut its doors following a positive case of coronavirus, which marked the Beaver State’s third presumed case.
Sanitisation was underway immediately at the Wildhorse Resort and Casino, with the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation own property, stating that all promotions and events have been cancelled until further updates can be provided.
Last month saw the Melco Resorts and Entertainment reassess all non-core investments that were to be made 2020 due to the impact of the coronavirus epidemic.
Professional Italian poker player, Mustapha Kanit spoke to CasinoBeats, he ‘understands’ why the resort has made this decision. He said: “Honestly with the virus situation I can understand, there is big panicking and I can see a huge downside if the virus would spread because a event like this.
“Kings lost a lot from the decision because they had some tournaments planned there from Italians too. When you have 700/1000 people suppose to come from Italy and a unstable situation to cancel.
The developer, owner and operator of casino gaming and entertainment facilities stated that the decision comes amid a severe drop in tourism in Asia to integrated resort facilities in the region, and the recent decision by the Macau SAR government to close all casino in Macau.
Galaxy Entertainment Group shared a “personal concern as a result of the outbreak of the coronavirus,” at the end of last month as they published their latest financial reports.
Chairman Lui Che Woo, who donated US $2.5M to China’s Hubei Province to help fight the outbreak and assist in relief efforts, began the firm’s latest finance statement with a letter updating on impacts of the pandemic.
A section of Woo’s letter read: “It is times like this that the entire community needs to work together to overcome these challenges. We have faced similar challenges in the past, and we have overcome these previous challenges. I am confident that in time we will overcome the current challenge.