Betting and Gaming Council Plea For Government To Rethink Strict Lockdown Restrictions in Lancashire

The Betting and gaming Council (BGC) have appealed to the Government to ‘rethink’ its decision to close betting shops and casinos in Lancashire as they moved the area into Tier 3 of its Covid restrictions, with the most severe lockdown measures.

Job Losses

Head of the BGC Michael Dugher is concerned the economic damage caused to the industry after around 200 betting shops and three casinos are to close their doors once again with 1,100 members of staff out of work.Betting shops provide £24m per year in tax to the government, plus £6.6m to horseracing including levy and media rights. Casinos provide around £6m per year in taxes to the Treasury.

Tier 3 Restrictions

The new rules in Lancashire imposed by the government comes hot on the heels of Merseyside being placed in Tier 3 with the closure of 350 betting shop and casino closures.Gyms and Leisure centres in Merseyside are closed but this isn’t the case in Lancashire, these businesses are to remain open while casinos and betting shops are to close.BGC Chief Executive Micheal Dugher responded to the government’s decision, “There’s no evidence that bookies and casinos – which have followed all of the anti-covid public health guidelines introduced since the start of the pandemic – had contributed to spread the disease.“At a time of economic hardship, the Treasury could ill afford to miss out on the tax revenue they provide.“We understand the government’s need to tackle Covid, but they must balance that with the need to protect jobs.“From the beginning of the pandemic, betting shops and casinos have played their full role in the national effort to tackle the virus. It is therefore hugely disappointing that as they start to get back on their feet again, those venues in Merseyside and Lancashire have had the rug pulled from under them.”Mr Dugher appealed to the government after the latest lockdown restrictions imposed on Lancashire hoping they come up with a financial package to secure the future of betting shops and casinos. The best course of action at this time would be to allow these venues to remain open to help with the economic recovery.      

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