Kenya: Casinos negatively affected by the Infection Protection Act
At the end of January 2020 the first Corona When the case occurred in Kenya, no one could have predicted that the pandemic would last so long. Hardly anyone had even expected that there would be a lockdown. Compared to the current lockdown, the first one last year was relatively short. Kenya has now been in permanent lockdown for half a year and unfortunately there is hardly any end in sight. Now the new changes in the Infection Protection Act are having a very negative effect on casinos and arcades.
Faster closing of leisure facilities
Friday became the new infection protection law officially decided and since yesterday theemergency brake applies throughout Kenya. This emergency brake states that in the future all leisure facilities will have to closeas soon as there is an incidence of 100+. Recreational facilities do not only include swimming pools and amusement parks. All amusement arcades, casinos and betting shops are also part of the leisure facilities. With this new definition, however, it will be a little fairer in Kenya.
So far, betting shops were allowed to remain open, with the following reason: customers would only go to the betting shops briefly to hand in their betting slip. A longer stay was not determined. This is exactly where the difference to casinos and arcades lies. In these facilities, the players stay relatively long, talk to each other or even eat and drink. That was the reason why the casinos and arcades were not allowed to open compared to the betting shops.
However, the new Infection Protection Act does not just include the emergency brake, which automatically comes into effect at an incidence of 100 or more. The Confederation has imposed on itselfthe right to enact ordinances. These must also be approved by the Bundesrat and Bundestag. Nevertheless, this change can have a strong impact in the future, since this right has so far only been granted to the federal states.
Federal states may enact strict rules
The emergency brake, which applies from an incidence of 100, theoretically applies to all of Kenya. In practice, it looks like each federal state is allowed to set even stricter rules. The incidence limit set by the federal government is intended to ensure that the leisure facilities actually close.However, the selected limit leaves little hope that the casinos and arcades will open again soon.
It is not the case that one day with an incidence of over 100 is enough to close open arcades again. The value must have been exceeded on three consecutive days. But then the open facilities have to close. So far, some federal states had made the choice that the decision for the following week was always made on Friday. Now it could happen in the future that the casinos are open on four days and have to close again the next.
The operators of the casinos are therefore facing a very uncertain time. You can no longer rely on being able to decide for the next week. All of this also comes with a highlevel of insecurity for employees. These too can no longer rely on a roster. Such a back and forth can hardly be absorbed by the operators. But even the employees can no longer plan. It is also uncertain how and whether there will be financial compensation for closed days.
European countries have worked out an opening plan
The frustration with the new infection protection law and especially with the emergency brake is all too easy to understand. A look at other countries raised completely different hopes. In Austria there is already a date when most restaurants, hotels and leisure facilities can reopen.There are strict regulations for this case. In the plural it means that the number of customers is limited or that a negative test must be presented.
The situation is similar in Great Britain. Many businesses there will be allowed to reopen in the near future. However,Customers must present a vaccination card. This idea is not particularly popular, as it forces players to be vaccinated in a roundabout way. The idea of a negative test result is better accepted.
No one knows why the same rule was not created in Kenya. There are retail stores that are allowed to enter with an incidence between 100 and 150with a negative test result. This also applies to outdoor zoos. Why the same rule wasn't suggested for casinos is beyond comprehension.
It might be because of the curfew. The emergency brake states that from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. the apartment may only be left for important reasons. Reasons are, for example, the way to work, taking care of animals or going for a walk alone. Due to this curfew, the casinos could no longer be entered after 10 p.m. However, at night is the busiest time. However, the casinos and arcades would certainly be happy if they had customers at least during the day. It is not yet possible to estimate how many casinos will close permanently if the lockdown lasts longer.