Italy's retail gaming venues reopen after Covid-19 shutdown

15 June 2020

Betting shops, gaming arcades and bingo halls across Italy have started to reopen after being shuttered as a result of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

All gambling venues were forced to close their doors when the country entered into a state of lockdown on 10 March. However, with the Covid-19 situation new improving in Italy, the government has begun to lift some restrictions.

This included allowing gambling venues to reopen as of 12 June, with a number of operators having opened their doors again over the weekend.

However, venues will only be permitted to open if they operate in line with strict measures put in place by the government to help protect staff and customers.

Measures include requiring both employees and punters to wear protective face masks when asked inside the facility, installing hand sanitiser stations, placing signage to promote social distancing and taking the temperature of visitors before they are permitted to enter.

Should operators not comply with these measures, then they could be subject to punishment, including operating suspensions where they would have to close their facility for up to five days.

SKS365 was one of the first major operators to announce that it would resume retail activities, setting out plans to begin reopening its 1,000 Planetwin365 shops across the country.

In line with the new Covid-19 measures, SKS365 has put in place a number of measures to prevent the spread of the virus, including placing an ‘Opening Safety Kit’ in each shop. This includes masks, sanitising gels and dividing barriers for use at the facility.

“It has been a crucial time for the business and absolutely necessary given the spread of Covid-19,” SKS365 chief executive Alexander Martin said. “During the lockdown we have been actively and following #StayAtHome.

“In addition, we were developing a series of initiatives to improve our product experience both retail and online to offer more innovative services for our customers. Thanks to the enormous commitment of all parties, today we can say that our shops will reopen in a safe and even better operational way.”

SKS365’s chief product and technology officer Jim Parkins said the operator had also been working on major updates to point-of-sale systems for customers and shop owners, and these would now be rolled out to coincide with the reopening.

Parkins said: “The new Planetwin365 self-service bet booking system represents the biggest change since the launch of our retail systems. Apart from significantly improving the speed and experience placing bets, along with our market leading betting terminals, the new software will help shop owners and customers maintain safe social distancing.

“Additionally, locating all our 1,000 Planetwin365 shops are now easily findable for customers in Google maps, Apple maps, Waze and 45 other social mapping solutions.”