Government U-Turn On Reopening Casinos Until 15th August

Boris Johnson announced last week casinos cannot reopen as planned on the 1st August, instead they are to remain closed until at least 15th August 2020. Other businesses in the leisure industry reopened their doors on the 1st and casinos, bowling alleys and cinemas were originally on the list as the lockdown was gradually eased.

Why Casinos?

UK casinos have been closed since March and have gone to great lengths to ensure their businesses are safe and followed government guidelines of covid safety measures, however the decision was made for them to remain closed. Other gambling outlets including bingo halls were able to reopen on the 4th July, betting shops were open on the 15th June so why are casinos still unable to reopen?Boris Johnson said, “ We simply cannot take the risk: we will continue to study the data carefully and move forward with or intention to open up as soon as we can.”

“Big Threat To Jobs”

Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) chief executive Michael Dugher who has campaigned for the reopening of betting outlets and casinos made a statement saying there is “ no evidence” to show that casinos are high risk venues. “ What happened to the governments local lockdown strategy, why should a casino business remain closed in Bristol in the south west, where covid-19 is low, but there’s a spike in greater Manchester? Big threat to jobs.”The casino industry generates millions in tax revenue per year and employ thousands of staff throughout the UK, all of which are currently on furlough. Since the closure back in March, casinos have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of their customers by providing hand sanitisers, Perspex screening around machines, masks for customers, social distancing and a rigorous cleaning program.

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