German gaming giant Gauselmann Group has begun planning to resume business activities in the country as the country's government begins to relax social distancing measures implemented to combat the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19).
Last month, Gauselmann closed all 700 of its gaming venues across Germany, as well as its 10 casinos in the country, in line with government-ordered measures.
However, this week, the German government relaxed a number of restrictions related to the coronavirus due to the improving situation in the country. This allowed small shops, car dealerships and bicycle stores to reopen.
While all gambling venues remain temporarily closed, Gauselmann said it was optimistic that gaming halls and casinos could be opened early, and has put measures in place to ensure it can resume activities as soon as permitted.
“The commercial venues in particular have the advantage that they already have provisions that correspond to the principle of social distancing requirements,” Gauselmann board member Dieter Kuhlmann said.
“This means that when our venues reopen, together with additional far-reaching measures, we can guarantee optimal infection protection for our guests and employees.”
Aside from closing gambling venues and halting production and sales activities, Gauselmann has implemented a number of other measures in an effort to ensure it can resume normal business activities when restrictions are lifted.
In total 13,500 of its employees have been put on furlough, while board members and company managers – around 60 people – have agreed to waive 50% of their salary for the duration of the shutdown.
Gauselmann Group founder and chief executive Paul Gauselmann said: “We have taken these short-term measures to protect our employees from social difficulties. Considering the size of the business, this is a considerable burden, but one that we are taking on not only on humanitarian grounds, but also to secure our company's future.
“Solidarity is the top priority for the Gauselmann Group,” he said. “Our focus is currently on preserving all 14,000 jobs in the group, if possible. Our employees have been committed to the company for many years and decades, which is why we cannot abandon them in these difficult times.
“This is a significant, challenging task when you consider that we currently have practically no revenue.”
In addition, following negotiations with its venues' landlords, rent for all of Gauselmann’s gambling facilities has been reduced by 50% during the period of closure.