The bookmakers in Scotland and the United Kingdom are permitted to operate partially from today, i.e., June 29. These betting shops were temporarily closed nearly 14-weeks ago in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Government Authorities have stated that the bookmakers can only operate if they are COVID-19 secure. Many casinos and betting shops were already given a green signal to operate in June this month, and some more will be set to run from July. The UK government is paving the way for the economy by stating that the betting shops and casinos need to experience social distancing, sanitized regularly, coverings, and masks must be used by the staff as well as the players, and much more.
Even a report by SBC News cited, “The revival of the Scottish betting shops came in the wake of June 15 when the commencement decision for the casinos and betting shops in the neighbouring country England was taken. So, this announcement was made by the First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon to help her country emerge from the lockdown period. Scotland has reported some 49 Coronavirus deaths in seven days to the coming Sunday.”
Protective Measures by Betting Shops
The reports by SBC News came up that the neighbouring country UK started with the betting and casino operations earlier this month with full safety measures. The UK-based casinos and betting shops are using protective gear for the employees, providing sanitizers and masks to their staff as well as the customers, and carrying out social distancing too. Even these betting shops have also installed the “plexiglass sneeze screens.”
But, on the North of the United Kingdom’s border and Scotland’s ‘betting shops’ have come out with some strict preventive rules that prevent the players from watching the live races as the horse races or other forms of live sporting events are still under a ban. Moreover, these Scottish ‘betting shops’ are asked by Scotland’s Government to remove the ‘in-shop’ seating that will stop the gamblers from the social gathering.
Even the report coming from SBC News showed that the Scottish Finance Cabinet Secretary Ms. Kate Forbes has written to the CEO of the BGC (Betting and Gaming Council) to provide the details on the opening of betting shops and casinos in Scotland. So, it was decided that the Scottish Betting shops would be opening from June 29, 2020, but only after the transactional service.
In another report that came from Kate Forbes, Scottish Finance Cabinet Secretary also stated that all the FOBTs (Fixed-Odds Betting Terminals) will remain switch off. It means that confirmation is yet to come up from the Scottish government that when the rest of the gambling industry will start functioning.
Official Statement Regarding Operating of Betting Shops
Kate Forbes, Finance Cabinet Secretary of Scotland, stated, “In regards to the query from Betting Council that when their members can operate the betting shops and will get permission for re-opening, so the Scottish betting shops will be opening during the phase two. It means the betting shops open up partially in Scotland from today just for placing the bets, as there will be no chairs or television placed to showcase live races events. This decision is taken by the government to avoid people gathering on these shops to bet and watch live sporting events or races.”
She further added, “The Gambling machines will also not be operational to avoid the spread of this virus through the surface transmission. Moreover, the government will issue the confirmation later in due course from when the adult gaming industry and the gambling industry will re-open again totally.”
But, there is excellent displeasure among the high-street bookie GVC Holdings that has the responsibility of almost 3,500 ‘betting shops’ in the UK. The bookmaker has also acquired the biggest bookmaker that is “Ladbrokes Coral Group.”
The GVC Holdings has expressed its disappointment for opening the betting shops partially with FOBTs being switched off for the gamblers.
Even the London-based bookmaker “Behemoth” stated that the course of action kept forward by the Scottish government is ‘inconsistent’ as compared to the guidelines that are issued by the UK government. In England, the casinos and betting shops have opened up for functioning with stringent social distancing means and use of sanitizers and plexiglass screens for added security of both the staff and the players.
GVC Holdings executives stated, “We will be continuously seeking the full detailed information from the Government of Scotland over the issue of operating the betting shops.”
Moreover, the SBC News reported chaos over the Irish betting shops too. The ‘betting shops’ in the region of Ireland faced the opening and shutting down confusion amid the government’s decision. A new announcement stated that the betting shops would remain closed in the country until the June month’s end, as nearly 800 casino venues briefly became operational on June 15, 2020. This confusion prevailed because the Irish government described the ‘non-essential retail.’