UK Casinos to Reopen May 17
A long lockdown will soon be over in the United Kingdom as casinos will be allowed to reopen on May 17.
The COVID-19 pandemic has hit most every industry negatively, especially businesses in the hospitality and entertainment sector. In the United Kingdom, casinos have been subject to several lockdowns due to reemerging outbreaks of the deadly virus. The casinos have been closed more than open for the past year due to variants and the spread of the virus. Thankfully, it seems that the virus is slowing enough that casinos in the UK can be back in business. On Monday May 17, the casinos in the region will reopen fully, as restrictions are eased.
As the country is on the road to recovery, it enters Phase Two of the process. Non-essential business including bookmakers, were allowed to reopen on April 12. The casinos had to wait a bit longer before officials felt it was proper for the venues to get back to business.
The UK had to lockdown again back in December, when the UK variant known as B117 was discovered. The virus spread rapidly into January and became a threat to the health care system in the country. Many areas of the country that were affected the most by the variant have been under a continuous lockdown for many months.
Thankfully, a vaccination effort and restrictions worked to lower the number of those infected by the virus. Around two-thirds of the population have received at least one shot and cash numbers are much lower in England and Scotland. When it comes to vaccine hesitancy rates, the UK has the lowest percentage in the world.
Ready to Open
For the casinos in the UK, they have been longing to reopen. Since the pandemic began, the casinos have barely been open, earning virtually nothing for over a year now. When the venues first closed in March, they were unable to reopen until August. Even when the reopening took place, the properties were restricted to 11 pm curfews.
This was not a good start to the reopening process as the late-night hours are when casinos are at their busiest. Then, by November, the casinos were closed again due to an influx of the virus. Since that time, casinos have been inoperable.
The Betting & Gaming Council have been a staunch supporter of the casinos reopening, pointing out the actions taken by operators to ensure that players and employees remain safe and healthy. The group also pointed out that the industry substantially contributes to the job market and the local economy.
Since they are getting back to work, employees will once again have a job and the economy will hopefully start to see a revival.
It is expected that the casinos will see big business upon reopening. It has been estimated that there is a pent-up demand for entertainment as people have been stuck inside their homes for months. By offering gambling options once again, casinos expect to be busy with patrons from the get go.
Along with casino gaming, it is expected that players will be hitting the bingo halls in large numbers as well. While casino and bingo games can be played online, the public has a whole has missed being social. Both casino and bingo facilities provide a social aspect that many people are craving after being in lockdown for so long.
It will be interesting to see the revenue reports from the UK gaming industry going into June and July and how the reemergence of gaming has affected the economy. It will not be surprising to see record setting revenues or at least high numbers as people get out and about in the gaming venues once again.