The government of the Argentinian province of Buenos Aires has authorized the reopening of casinos and bingo halls on December 14.

According to the Provincial Institute of Lotteries and Casinos – the IPLyC – the venues will only be able to operate slot machines and under strict sanitary protocols.

The Chief of the Cabinet of Ministers of the Province, Carlos Bianco, confirmed the move at an Institute meeting yesterday, attended by business representatives, trade union members and the President and Vice President of the regulator, Omar Galdurralde and María Laura García.

The approval follows several meetings between provincial authorities and the local gambling regulator. On December 14, the gambling halls will have been shuttered for nine as a consequence of mandatory national and provincial lockdowns.

The IPLyC said that the protocol will determine that people at a greater risk won’t be able to enter the casinos and bingo halls.

Roberto Páez, General Secretary of the Mar del Plata Casinos Maestranza Union, talked to the local press and said that the sector was waiting on guidelines for reopening.

“The truth is that we don’t clearly know how the activity will be developed or how the schedules and the employees will be affected, but we’re sure that we will know all the specifications eventually,” said Páez.

Casinos in the city of Buenos Aires received the green light to reopen last week, but with limited capacity. The Hipódromo de Palermo and the Casino Flotante de Puerto Madero can operate at a 20 or 30 per cent capacity, depending on ventilation in their betting rooms.