Newgioco to Reopen Shops in Italy

The Newgioco Group has declared it will begin reopening the internet cafe locations it has across Italy after the government announced lockdown would be relaxed. With the recent trends in the numbers of infected people in Italy, the decision has been made to allow some businesses to begin to reopen in an attempt to boost the economy in Italy.

The colosseum in Rome at night time.

The lockdown in Italy hit Newgioco’s business hard and resulted in the business having to close its 2,000 physical venues in the country. The recent decision to ease the lockdown should see it bounce back in the coming weeks. ©Free-Photos/Pixabay

The lockdown in Italy began on the 10th of March. Now, however, for the first time in more than 50 days since, the country has seen a decline in the numbers of new cases and also in the number of deaths related to the novel coronavirus COVID-19 over consecutive days.

With an easing of the lockdown conditions, a slow return to life as normal could be set in motion. Construction and wholesale businesses will be allowed to recommence their work under the new rules and there will also be a return for real estate. These relaxed conditions would also open the door for Newgioco to open its internet cafes.

It won’t just be as simple as opening the doors and waiting for the customers to come piling in, however. Newgioco will be required to implement many procedures into its business model to help to make sure that it is working in line with the other measures set out by the Italian leaders to help limit the spread of the virus.

These measures will include policies like the distribution of personal protective equipment to all of those working in its internet cafes. This equipment will include hand sanitizers, face masks, gloves, and will all be given out at the venues at no charge to protect both customers and employees.

It has been legislated that those who go outside in Italy at the moment must be equipped with a facemask. There is also still a rigorous social distancing policy in place. Those who do leave their houses also have to fill out a form in which they disclose their personal information to help authorities confirm their identities if necessary.

Speaking on the potential reopening of its cafes, Newgioco’ CEO Allessandro Marcelli declared that it was important for the company to take its fair share of responsibility towards the reopening of the economy in the countries in which it operates. The CEO of the company views the role of Newgioco’s sales and retail employees pivotal in this regard.

Marcelli also emphasized the point that the return of Newgioco in Italy would not be an easy one. The outbreak of COVID-19 will likely have very far-reaching ramifications on the economics of Italy in the weeks, months and even years still to come. Marcelli believes that the entities that are most at risk economically from this are the small businesses and that Newgioco should do its part to help them.

The Impact of Lockdown on Newgioco

The outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 took a heavy toll on the business of Newgioco, especially in Italy. The lockdown in Italy was one of the earliest and strictest of the wide-scale shutdowns of countries that quickly became the norm.

Newgioco operates some 2,000 internet cafés across the country. In these venues, customers are also able to place sports bets using the services offered by the provider.

The lockdown hit the business hard. Its stock prices plummeted from $2.50 on the New York Stock Exchange to $1.66 over the course of just a couple of days after the Italian government ordered an embargo on any retail betting venues from being open for an indefinite period.

Newgioco, like many other sports betting operators, was also heavily affected by the suspension of many sporting events around the world. The business saw its sports betting revenue decline during March. The business was able to mitigate some of these losses through improvements in other verticals, but there was a 19.8% drop in sales for the business at this time.

The operator also attempted to offset some of these losses by launching a service that allowed consumers to gamble money on the outcome of esports events in the absence of traditional sports.

Having survived through a very dark period, the business now looks to be back on track with the reopening of its physical venues. While the return for Newgioco will not be straightforward and there will likely be obstacles up ahead, the feeling is one of hope that it will be able to begin its operations in earnest once more.

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The outside of a betting shop.

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