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King's Casino Bans Italian Players In Response To Coronavirus Outbreak

Ban Comes Following First Few Cases Of Coronavirus In The Czech Republic

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Europe’s largest poker room will be banning Italians from the property in order to help curb the spread of coronavirus.

King’s Casino in Rozvadov announced Monday on its Facebook page that players from Italy would not be allowed inside. The Czech Republic casino partnered with the World Series of Poker in 2017 and is home of World Series of Poker Europe until at least 2021.

“King’s Resort regrets to announce that, given the evolution of the coronavirus epidemic that since a few hours affected also the Czech Republic,… to preserve the health of its international clientele, and to prevent the spread of COVID-19, has decided to limit access to all areas of the casino as well as to not accept any hotel reservations made by Italian residents.”

Italy has been one of the countries hardest hit by the virus’s outbreak. With 2,502 documented cases at the time of writing, according to Johns Hopkins University, only China, South Korea, and Iran have had more confirmed cases of coronavirus.

The announcement came shortly after the first case of the virus was found in the Czech Republic. There are now five cases in the country. Two of those five individuals said they had visited Italy recently.

The casino said that the new policy will go into effect immediately and will last for an “undetermined amount of time.”

A handful of tournament series around the world have been canceled in response to concerns surrounding the outbreak.

The Triton Poker Super High Roller Series in Jeju, South Korea was postponed at the start of February and canceled Wednesday morning.

The 2020 Malta Poker Championship was also canceled. There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Malta, but the island nation is located just 476 miles south of Italy and was likely to draw plenty of Italian players.

High-stakes pros have been publicly making bets about whether the WSOP will be canceled due to the virus, but at this point, there have been no indications from the tournament staff that the series will not run as scheduled.