We invite you to read an exceptional interview with the Chairman of European Casino Association, Mr. Per Jaldung, occasion with which you will find how big was the impact of Covid-19 pandemic on land-based casinos in Europe, how ECA can help their members, also which are the best practices that help casinos to reopen safely their stabiliments and many other things.
The European Casino Association (ECA) represents licensed land-based casinos in Europe. Please, tell us, what is the situation of your members in the context of Covid-19 epidemy?
All our members are heavily impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic. The measures taken by governments to halt its spread resulted in the closure of all land-based casinos in Europe – therewith having a devastating effect on our sector, creating an uncertain future that must urgently be addressed by regulators, national governments, and EU authorities. However, we should not lose faith, and also look at the opportunities that this situation could potentially create.
With over 70,000 direct employees supporting local economies across Europe and a lot of money paid to the governments from different taxes and fees, ECA is the biggest voice of licensed land-based casinos in Europe. Which are the measures that ECA can help casinos in Europe? How can European Commission can help our domain?
The ECA is closely monitoring the development of the situation both at national and European level in order to best support its members. As the voice of licensed land-based casinos in Europe, it is our clear duty to inform EU institutions and national governments about the economic impact of the crisis on our sector, but also about the impact of the illegal online gambling operations that are now targeting consumers locked down at home, while the licensed land based casino industry is at a standstill. For our members we have created a tight online network to exchange information and best practices for the reopening process. Keeping customers and employees safe is the cornerstone to all measures implemented.
Please, tell us if European Casino Association thinking to prepare a set of proposals regarding the moment when the countries decide to open the landbased casinos? Which are the main proposals who can respect the igyene conditions and social distancing? What can casinos and gaming halls do to offer to their clients the best conditions of entertaining when they will open the gates of their gaming halls?
The safety and health of employees and customers is of utmost importance for ECA members. With this regard, the ECA acts as a point of contact to exchange information and best practices that will help casinos to reopen. Our members are evaluating the measures to put in place to make casinos a safe place for both employees and consumers. The ECA has also produced and distributed comprehensive re-opening guidelines to all of its members.
Employees are the most important value of our companies. What can casinos do to protect better their employees in this pandemic conditions?
In these challenging times, our members do their best to protect their employees, both physically and economically. However, the support of institutions is also crucial to protect their economic well-being. What is also important, is to educate our employees and to have procedures and measuresin place that guarantee the safety of both our guests and our employees.
Many companies – casinos & betting operators – had donate considerable amounts of money or help in other ways the fight against this new coronavirus, how gambling industry can help people, hospitals or governments to continue this fight?
Despite being closed, many ECA Member casinos are helping their local communities. In Sweden, for example, Casino Cosmopol has partnered up with a Skill Shift initiative to offer employees an intensive care training program that allows them to assist in the healthcare sector in Stockholm. Casinos Austria is actively promoting the wearing of masks in support of the corresponding measures introduced by the Austrian government. Casino Monte Carlo SBM is spreading messages of hope all over its social media that draw on Monte Carlo’s famous savoir-faire.
Which is the ECA message for Romanian Gambling Industry, especially for land based casinos?
Unfortunately Romania is not represented in the European Casino Association so our message is that if any national casino association or any of the big Romanian operators is interested to join the ECA, please get in touch with our office… As a final general remark, the ECA wishes the Romanian casino industry the best of luck when reopening and that all employees and customers are safe and healthy after these difficult months.
Per Jaldung Bio
Chairman of European Casino Association (ECA) and CEO of Casino Cosmopol AB (Sweden)
Per Jaldung is a proven leader in the casino and entertainment industry with 17 years of leadership experience. He currently serves as the CEO of Casino Cosmopol in Sweden which operates four midsize land-based casinos in Stockholm, Gothenburg, Malmo and Sundsvall. Per also proudly serves as the Chairman of the European Casino Association (ECA) supporting approximately 1,000 casinos across Europe in 30 member-countries.Prior to entering the casino entertainment business, Per served in multiple capacities for the Stockholm Police Department and the National Criminal Intelligence Service for 13 years. His background in law enforcement lead him to start working for Casino Cosmopol in 2002 as head of Security and Surveillance, then promoted to General Manager of the Gothenburg property in 2005. In 2008, Perwas appointed CEO of Casino Cosmopol and continues to guide the future of the company. Hestudied law at Uppsala University in Sweden and is an alumni of the Executive Development Program (EDP) at UNLV Las Vegas. Over the past four years, Per has been invited to speak at several international casino conferences on a range a various casino related topicsand is widely considered an industry expert.