According to Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), the UK gambling trade and standards body, it is inconsistent and nonsensical for the country’s government to compel casinos to remain closed as other hospitality and leisure venues re-open. To ease lockdown measures intended to limit the spread of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) in the country, Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that from 4 July, hotels, pubs, and restaurants would be permitted to re-open. Conversely, casinos were not included among businesses that may re-open after closing on 20 March.
However, the BGC stated that casinos were prepared to re-open, as they have put measures to make sure there is the safety of customers and staff. The BGC earlier this month said its land-based casino operator members in England would be ready to re-open from 4 July. The BGC also said that casino operators would adhere to the government’s strict anti-COVID guidelines. To enable them to re-open their doors safely as soon after 4 July as possible, they currently want to work urgently with ministers on any outstanding issues.
The guidelines include making sure clients use hand sanitizers when joining and leaving a gaming table and before entering the casino. There will be a reduction in the number of players at gaming tables, and redesigning the floor layouts to ensure social distancing at all times. BGC chief executive Michael Dugher also stated that they would welcome the fact that the lockdown is being eased further, and the whole country has made sacrifices to combat the coronavirus. He confirmed that it is good news that the Government is looking to get the economy moving again.
Michael also noted that when other parts of the hospitality and leisure industry are opening up again, it is inconsistent and frankly nonsensical that casinos are being forced to remain closed. Also, re-opening could provide a significant economic boost since the casino industry employs 14,000 people and contributes £300m in taxes to the UK treasury. Dugher said that they have pulled out all the stops to ensure they can open their doors safely for both staff and customers from 4 July, and casinos have done everything that they were asked to do by the government. He concluded that they want to immediately work with Ministers to ensure that casinos are re-opened safely this summer.