BGC (Betting and Gaming Council), a British regulatory body for casinos, denounced and slammed the government’s decision to delay the opening of casinos. The businesses of the leisure and hospitality sector were about to resume operations from July 4, 2020. But, the latest news release from the UK Government included other hospitality and entertainment sectors except for land-based casinos.
The Coronavirus restrictions were put up in the UK since March when the whole country came under complete lockdown. Even casinos and other hospitality sectors have to stop their operations. July 4 was awaited by the non-essential businesses and casinos, too, as they were set to reopen in the third and final phase of uplifting o lockdown.
However, the official statement released on Tuesday by Great Britain’s PM Boris Johnson listed a few businesses on which the COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted. These include pubs, dining establishments, hair salons, museums, and hotels. The land-based casinos that came under full closure on March 23, 2020, did not make to the list of Prime Minister.
Although the casinos have made safety arrangements and were ready to get operational from July 4, Coronavirus restriction is not uplifted from the gambling industry. It has outraged the BGC, and they have denounced this decision citing it as entirely inconsistent.
The Reaction of Gambling Sector
The decision of not including the casinos in the list of operational businesses has infuriated the Gambling body.
According to BGC, “The land-based casinos have done all the preparations to resume their services from July 4. They have adopted all the hygiene and safety measures to secure their employees as well as the customers too. Even the anti-COVID guidelines were followed as provided by the UK Government.”
However, this delay and non-inclusion of the casinos have setbacks for the industry and their immediate staff too. Casinos in the country contribute a good amount to the economy, but keeping them aloof by asking them to wait for further instructions is seriously going to disrupt the casino business largely.
Safety Measures Undertaken By the UK Casinos
The Betting and Gaming Council has stated that the UK Casinos have limited the entry of the players to practice social distancing rules. Moreover, they have made face masks available for punters and their staff, live table capacity is now made limited, floor layouts of 2-metres is now onboard, and casinos are also using plexiglass screens for maximum protection.
Moreover, the slot machines will be disinfected after each session of betting. Also, the ATMs will also be sanitized every hour. The use of Plexiglass dividers will protect the employees and customers from the spread of the disease.
To curb the risk of the virus infection, the punters will have to sanitize their hands as and when they enter the premises or leave it. If there is a queue outside the casinos, the players have to take care of social distancing by following the “2-metre” rule.
But, Betting and Gaming Council is of the view that, “Prime Minister has overlooked all these safety measures applied by the casinos. And it has resulted in not including the casinos in the list of hospitality and leisure sectors, which will reopen on July 4, 2020”.
Official Statement Regarding Casinos Exclusion
The UK Casinos are stated to contribute almost £300 million in the form of taxes towards HM Treasury. In the wake of the casinos’ exclusion from the list of the businesses that will start operating from July 4, the Betting and Gaming Council’s Chief Executive, Michael Dugher, stated this decision as frankly nonsensical.
Mr. Michael Dugher commented that the casinos across the UK contribute highly in the form of taxes to the UK’s economy. They even employ thousands of people present in the country. So far, over 14,000 employees are recruited in the casino industry across the UK. Further, he added, “The land-based casinos in the country have satisfied all the safety measures that were cited by the British government because of Coronavirus. Moreover, gambling operators were ready to welcome the players to their premises from July 4 onwards.”
The delay in reopening the casinos has made BGC Chief quite disappointed. Now, BGC has decided that they will cooperate on every front with the UK Government to let the land-based gambling operators open as soon as possible. It will help the gambling brands to push in their financial activities and sustain the jobs of the thousands of people that are right now in the lurch.
A few statements are coming against the PM as hospitality sector sources think that the ministers are not aware of how important it is for the country to run these sectors too. So, the confirmation from the government authorities is now being looked at.