BGC (Betting and Gaming Council), which is the UK Gambling Trade and Standard’s body has condemned the government for making the casinos remain closed. Betting and Gaming Council has called the decision of the government as “nonsensical and inconsistent’. The statement came in the wake of when casinos were ousted from the list of hospitality and leisure venues.
As the UK eases the lockdown in the country, the only things that were included in the hospitality and leisure sectors are pubs, restaurants, and hotels. The UK will ease the lockdown from July 4, 2020, as stated by PM Boris Johnson. These limited places are stated to reopen to limit the spread of the Coronavirus in the country. Under this decision, the casinos that fall under the hospitality and leisure sector were excluded. However, they also went under complete lockdown with the country on March 20, 2020.
Thoughts of BGC on Government’s Decision
The UK Government gave the decision last month for the reopening of the leisure and hospitality sector in the final phase of the lockdown. Everything was set to reopen in the country from July 4, 2020, as the land-based casinos got permission. The casinos have taken all the safety measures to guarantee the wellbeing of the punters and their employees.
The spokesperson of BGC stated, “Casino operators in the UK have worked tirelessly to ensure that the safety of their staff and customers are maintained. Moreover, the casinos have made sure that their operational ways adhere to the COVID-19 guidelines as laid down in the country.”
The casinos have made sure that the customers observe social distancing whenever they are standing in the queues. Even the cleaning of the machines will be done regularly, and ATMs will be sanitized once in an hour. The social distancing will be observed on the gaming tables, too, by providing masks and sanitizers to gamblers on request. Even it is ensured that when the customers enter the casino or leave it, they are using the sanitizers. Moreover, the floor layouts at every casino were also planned according to social distancing norms.
Now, the BGC is planning to urgently work with the UK Government ministry on any type of the outstanding issues that are relative to casinos. It will help the casinos to restart their work along with hotels, pubs, and restaurants as soon as possible after July 4, 2020. Even the executives at BGC have stated that the casinos are ready and willing to open safely.
Betting and Gaming Council Chief Executive Mr. Michael Dugher said, “We praise the UK Government that they have worked upon easing the lockdown terms.”
He further added, “Our country has made umpteen sacrifices in these last months due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown done by the government to fight the virus spread. He stated that it’s a good move that the country is working towards uplifting the economy by opening the pubs, restaurants, bingo halls, amusement arcades, etc. while keeping public health in the view.”
Moreover, the BGC Chief stated, “But this is a nonsensical and inconsistent move to keep the casinos on hold when the few other parts of our leisure and hospitality industry are set to open up all over again. As the UK casino industry employs almost 14,000 staff members and commits nearly £300 million in the form of taxes to the country’s treasury, this reopening will give a major upliftment to the UK’s economy.”
BGC in Talks over Government’s Move
BGC is disappointed by the UK Government’s decision not to open the casinos even after the final phase of lockdown ease has raised many concerns. The executives are in talks with the ministers to create the scheme along with the casino operators so that they can start their operations.
Michael Dugher said, “Our casinos make a great contribution towards the economy as they sustain thousands of casino-based jobs and even pays the large amount in the taxes too. The casinos contribute a great amount to the UK treasury.”
Moreover, the BGC Chief said, “The UK-based land casinos have contributed everything in their capacity that was asked from them by the UK Government. Our land-based casinos have pulled out the blockages so that the casinos can function properly from July 2020. Moreover, the casinos also take care of safety measures laid down by the government. The safety of both the employees and the players were considered as of paramount importance.”
The BGC executive was of the view that it is a sheer disappointment to not to allow them even after the ease in the lockdown has been announced. The casinos will work with the government authorities so that they can operate quickly during these summers only.
It will not only help the casinos and their staff, but the flexibility in the operations will support the country to emerge from the consequences of the pandemic too. As casinos will be operating with the less staff and customers only, so the UK Government must look after the casinos also.