IAFAS in Argentina strives to reopen casinos to recover from pandemic

Silvio Vivas, president of IAFAS (Institute of Financial Aid for Social Action) in a recent press briefing discussed plans to reopen casinos in the province of Entre Rios

After a heavy economic blow from the pandemic, Vivas (seen below) stated “We worked with the Ministry on all the protocols for employees and for the public, and everything is synchronised, but the opening will take place on the date, when the conditions can be met, and when all the security measures can be given.

We are evaluating an opening that will not be 100% of the conditions, and this is also being worked on with the rest of the country's lotteries (..) the protocol was passed to the Ministry of Health, from there they made some observations and modified what was necessary, and it points to an issue of general responsibility, but also to prevention and protection of employees, of those who work around the room and of the public that enters as well”

In regards to the economic situation of the organization after the consequences from the pandemic, he said "last year, the total distribution of the IAFAS in terms of social action was about 700 million pesos, and this year absolutely nothing was distributed, because the entire wage bill was complied with.

We have a very significant wage bill, and in casinos productivity is respected by 80%, and in the central IAFAS also by a significant percentage, and that, despite being closed, was complied with at all times”

As for the possibilities of recovery, he stated that "there are many variables that are going to influence; not only people's behavior but also the economic situation (..) the behavior of the people is not only that of the province, but also that of those who come from outside, because for example the Victoria Casino works with more than 80% of the people who come from outside the province, and we have to see how the interprovincial circulation will be. There are many variables that will influence whether the return will be very gradual”.

In regards to the future, he said “we will not get back to a 100%, because the machines must have a distance of 1.5 meters, the rooms must have a certain capacity of entry, after use they must be cleaned every certain time, and the restrictions will be very important”.

He ended the briefing, by commenting on the recent increase of clandestine gambling "it is very difficult to have an estimate of the money that is illegally handled and what the official system loses because everything is much more diffused and confusing through the Internet".

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