The global chaos caused by the expansion of the COVID-19 pandemic has led the Latin American region to take action around its daily gambling and betting operations. As a preventive measure, Buenos Aires has decided to shut down its casinos and limit gambling activity.
Policies in Buenos Aires are made by two different governments: the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires and Buenos Aires province. Authorities from the city decided to limit access to casinos and racecourses to 200 people at a time, while the province opted to shut down bingo and casino activity altogether.
The ruling from Buenos Aires Governor Axel Kicillof follows an inter-ministerial meeting which included President Alberto Fernández and Head of Government of the City Horacio Rodríguez Larreta.
The province’s Chief of Staff, Carlos Bianco, confirmed on social media that the order follows other types of restrictions set at a national level. ”We’re working to contain the coronavirus pandemic,” he said.
The resolution comes just a few days after the City of Buenos Aires announced the limitations to its casinos and the Argentine Hippodrome in Palermo. In a press conference the Minister of Health of the City, Fernán Quirós, explained that the aim was to prevent the expansion of the virus without slowing down economic activity.
According to official information from the Ministry of Health, there are 56 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Argentina, most of them in Buenos Aires. Although the new measures will be in place for the next 15 days, the national government has already said that they could extend the restrictions for a longer period if needed.
Argentina is not the only country in Latin America that is limiting gambling activity. On Sunday, the Uruguayan government also decided to close all its gambling venues after it registered eight cases of COVID-19. Meanwhile, the National Association of State Casino Officials urged precautionary steps to minimize the spread of the virus in the country.
Panama and Puerto Rico have already suspended all their gambling operations, while Paraguay’s gaming commission Conajzar recommended facilities to close their doors for two weeks.