- The Standard table games will be available to only three players due to social distancing
- Pent-up casino games demands will support in casino recovery
- Slot machines may be wiped off, as most will remain switched off
The casinos in the United Kingdom saw a complete shutdown from the first lockdown that began on March 23, 2020. Now, the casinos are ready to reopen on July 4, 2020, after three months of being closed due to COVID-19.
UK government came on to the decision of opening up the non-essential businesses in the country from June 15 this year. The non-essential businesses like the sports arcades, betting shops, fashion studios, car dealerships, etc. were also closed since March 23.
In the wake of the government’s decision, UK’s Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) announced the reopening of the casinos in the country from July 4, 2020. The government’s decision pushed the date instead of opening all the non-essential businesses at the time for Royal Ascot. The Casinos all over the country were closed to reduce the spread of Coronavirus.
Final Phase of Easing the Lockdown in the UK
As Casinos falls under the leisure and hospitality sector, so the country will witness the reopening of 148 casinos on July 4. The authorities announce this ease under the third and final phase of the opening of the lockdown in the UK.
England’s casinos will strictly adhere to strict anti-COVID standards as players will mainly witness the social distancing in these land-based casinos. Strict hygiene and social distancing practices will be followed by the operators to safeguard their staff and customers.
A few casino owners stated, “The players before entering the casinos will have to use the hand sanitizers. After joining and before leaving the gaming table, the customers will have to use the sanitizers too. Moreover, the entry to the casino will be limited to a person at a time. In addition, a two-metre social distancing rule will be experienced for the queues outside the casino. Even we will ensure table capacity limits and provide face coverings to the gamblers on request.”
Another source stated that the casino operators would make sure that for social distancing rule, the floor layouts will be marked carefully. The majority of casinos will clean the game machines after every session and sanitize the ATMs once in every hour. To protect the staff and the players, the casinos will be using the “Plexiglass Screens” that will help in maintaining social distancing.
Official Statements Coming Amid Reopening of the Casinos
The non-essential things will open in mid-week of June, but the UK casinos have to wait a little longer before they resume the daily activities. Each casino will follow the COVID-19 standards put up by the government.
BGC Chief Executive, Michael Dugher, states nothing is more important to the casinos than the safety of its customers and the staff. The casino operators are doing everything to ensure the proper safety of the customers and their staff. Operators are working on every possible safety measure when they open for business again.
Even the UK’s Betting and Gaming Council is taking every strict measure to fit in the post-COVID world easily and without a single loophole. It is for the benefit of both the employees of the casinos and the customers. Emphasis is made from BGC and high-end casinos side to open the doors of their casinos to overseas tourists as this will back-up the economy manifold. But, the present rules state that whosoever is entering the UK from overseas needs to go into the quarantine period of 14 days.
Further, Dugher added that the casino sector faces tough times ahead, including the whole hospitality and leisure industry in the UK. This threat posed to businesses operating in these sectors will not go away quickly. So, the council is urging the government to exercise flexibility for these sectors as the casino’s Furlough Scheme is wound down.
The BGC executive also stated that casinos are known to make a significant contribution to the country’s economy by paying heavy taxes as well as providing employment opportunities. The casinos are a substantial part of the hospitality, leisure, and, tourism, and entertainment sectors. He stated that casinos had not played a significant role in contributing towards the fight against COVID-19 by keeping its doors closed since national lockdown but is also helping the communities. The Casinos have allowed their venues for community use, and their kitchens were providing food to the needy.
The BGC officials are of the view that the British government will not only support the casinos by letting them reopen on July 4, 2020, but will help them with some flexible schemes as the country’s economy emerges from the Novel Coronavirus. The reason being, the casinos will get reopened but with reduced capacity while following the social distancing norms.