SLOT machines can start spinning again in local bars across the Valencia region after a ruling from the Valencian Supreme Court(TSJ).
The judges backed an action brought by the hospitality group SOS Hosteleria after indoor service returned to bars and restaurants last Monday(March 15).
The TSJ ruled that since customer could go indoors, there was no reason to maintain the prohibition order on slot machines.
They also pointed out that it was an important source of revenue for hospitality business owners.
Meanwhile an attempt to get gaming establishments reopened has been thrown out after the TSJ rejected a challenge from the Union Association of Gaming Workers(UTSAJU).
The judges ruling says that a reopening of gambling venues would be ‘a serious disturbance of the general public interest in regard to health’.
The decision comes despite the Valencia region having the lowest infection rates in Spain which under World Health Organisation standards makes the area ‘low risk’.
The UTSAJU argued that the health situation is ‘opposite’ to what it was two months ago and that mask-wearing was obligatory like in other indoor places like hotels and gyms.
Evidence supplied by the Valencian government’s health department talked about the difficulties of maintaining social distancing in gambling venues and that they were very enclosed and poorly ventilated in some cases.
The Valencian submission also mentioned fears of a ‘fourth wave’ of COVID-19 and concerns of vaccine efficacy against more-virulent strains like those from Britain and Brazil.