The Betting and Gaming Council Plea to The Government to Allow Betting Shops to Open in Tier Three

Michael Dugher, CEO of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has urged the Government to rethink opening betting shops and casinos. Tier 3 restrictions are expected to be in place after the latest lockdown restrictions are lifted on December 2nd.


Mr. Dugher wrote letters to two ministers expressing concern around the latest restrictions and outlined extra steps casinos and betting shops would undertake to ensure the safety of its customers.The gambling sector has been hit particularly hard during the lockdowns even though millions of pounds have already been spent on upgrading establishments, following Government guidelines to protect staff and customers. These included Perspex screens in betting shops, hand sanitisers made available to customers, and social distancing. Casinos have reduced the number of customers, followed social distancing guidelines, fitted Perspex sheets between gaming machines and customers must wear masks while indoors.

Huge Cost To Casinos and Betting Shops

After a healthy start to the year, this is not the case now. Reduced employment of up to 40% in some casinos and profits dwindling, the lockdowns have cost casinos dearly with a loss of up to £15m per month for some operators.Mr. Dugher said in his letters, “As you can imagine, they are deeply concerned about the huge negative impact that closure of their businesses is having on their staff, customers, suppliers and indeed sport, whilst having a negligible impact on the R rate. “But, in order to give further reassurance to you and the public that opening these businesses in Tier 3 is possible, our members offered to introduce further restrictions on for example numbers, facilities, and products available.”Land-based casinos are willing to limit the number of customers to 25%, stop selling alcohol after 10 pm and stop live gaming on roulette, blackjack, and poker.

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