After eight months with no operations, casinos in the City of Buenos Aires reopened on Monday morning this week, but with limited capacity. The gambling facilities had been forced to shut down in mid-March due to health concerns in Argentina during the pandemic.

Several discussions between the local regulator LOTBA and the City’s Health Minister Fernán Quirós led to the Hipódromo de Palermo and the Casino Flotante de Puerto Madero receiving the green light to operate at a 20% or 30% capacity, depending on the ventilation in their betting rooms.

As indicated by the City authorities, the reopening happened “gradually, according to the local epidemiological situation”, and may be “expanded or modified according to changes that may arise regarding the situation and any other suggestion from jurisdictional authorities”.

According to the protocol, bar and restaurant services are not allowed. Additionally, the casinos must ensure a minimum distance between machines and the implementation of acrylics between them.

Gaming tables are also allowed, but croupiers must be behind a protection screen to avoid contact with players. The use of masks is mandatory for everyone inside the casinos.

Last week, it was revealed that the Government aimed at implementing the online gambling system right after the casinos reopening. Both the Hipódromo and Puerto Madero casinos would be able to operate online, with the hope to collect between $6.2m and $8.7m.