BGC Wants UK Casinos and Betting Shops Reopened
As the recent national lockdown in the UK begins to ease restrictions, the Betting and Gaming Council wants casinos and betting shops to reopen.
Around the world, lockdowns have been ongoing in some form or fashion due to the continual threat of the coronavirus. COVID-19 has essentially taken over the world and many areas like the US and the UK, are having a hard time getting rid of the virus. In the UK, the country is about to end its third nationwide lockdown. Today, Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to provide a roadmap as to how the UK will begin moving out of quarantine. For the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), they want to see betting shops and casinos allowed to reopen as restrictions are removed.
Open Back Up
The BGC is wasting no time in lobbying for the gaming industry in the UK. More than 44,000 people in the country are employed by these venues and according to the BGC, they are fully prepared to provide post-lockdown recovery for the economy. The group feels that the gaming sector should be given the same opportunity to reopen as other business types.
The Council feels that the betting providers should be allowed to reopen at the same time as non-essential retailers like clothing outlets. For casinos, they should be allowed to open at the same time as other hospitality businesses like clubs, pubs, and restaurants.
BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher commented that as the vaccine is provided and the country is coming out of lockdown, the gaming businesses need to be able to plan for reopening. Dugher is calling for Ministers to be clear on what will happen over the next few months with a consistent approach within the sectors.
Vital to Recovery
The National Director of Operations for Grosvenor UK, Debbie Husband, commented that it is vital the casinos are connected to the wider hospitality sector. Husband argues that curfew mandates must be removed as the criteria for coming out of lockdown is created. She pointed out that last year when betting shops were able to open, they had best-in-class anti-COVID measures in place when compared to other high street operations.
Casinos are ready to get back to work and want to use the night-time economy to get the country back on its feet. The 10pm curfew hurt these businesses and by removing it, will open up the stream of revenues once again.
Husband said that casinos must be allowed to reopen along with other hospitality businesses like pubs and the curfew done away with. There will not be a decrease in the commitment to safety among the operators and funds could be generated once more to fund public services, plus get thousands of people back to work.
Officials feel that betting shops and casinos need to be treated fairly, like other businesses, that are allowed to open back up once the restrictions ease. It seems the fear is that the gaming sector will have stipulations while others will be allowed to open back up with ease.
Husband and Dugher, among other officials, want to see the betting shops and casinos given the same treatment as other types of businesses as the reopening process begins so that everyone has the same opportunity to recover.
While retail betting shops have been closed, there has been money coming in due to the horse and greyhound racing industry. The Premier League fixtures are also on television so that players can place online wagers.
We shall see later today what Prime Minister Boris Johnson announces and if the gaming sector can expect the same treatment as the UK works towards economic recovery, or if restrictions will remain in place. Only time will tell as to what the decision will be.