The Casino de Tandil is on its way to becoming the first casino to reopen its doors in the Buenos Aires province. Juan Pablo Ibañez, a member of the Casino Workers Union said that the facility has a protocol authorized by the Integrated Health System (SIS).

As Ibañez told local newspaper La Voz de Tandil, the casino is the first one to receive the green light from the SIS. Now, the Provincial Institute of Lotteries and Casinos (IPLyC) of Buenos Aires must review the guidelines in order to grant the final approval.

“The authorities in Buenos Aires lived up to the circumstances, and the workers understood that we weren’t a priority in the middle of a pandemic and in this difficult economic situation,” said Ibañez.

The union member explained that during the months where they had no activity, some employees suffered losses of up to 50% of their income. “It was too difficult for a long time, the casino workers are going through a complex situation, the pandemic just exposed it,” he added.

“We have to understand that the pandemic is not contemplated in a law, we all have to make an effort. We recognize the work from the union authorities and the effort from the governor because they had a great predisposition, and the previous government didn’t even allow us to have any type of conversation, they never even picked up the phone to talk to us,” he said.

In late July, casino employees in the Argentinian jurisdiction, along with the Association of State Workers (ATE), launched a campaign to reopen casinos in the province.

They explained that, even though they’re not considered an essential service, casino revenues contribute to state programs, which could help navigate the pandemic in Buenos Aires province, which has suffered the most due to the virus. ATE argues that 20% of its profits are sent to the Ministry of Security, while the Ministry of Education receives another 20% and the Ministry of Social Development a 25%.