UK Casinos To Remain Closed Until At Least August 15Published August 2, 2020 by Sol FH
The UK government has decided to extend its lockdown measures for casinos until at least August 15, much to the dismay of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC).
Tensions are high between the UK Government, the BGC, and casinos that operate therein. The UK government has delayed the planned relaxation of social distancing measures on large indoor venues, which must now remain closed for at least another two weeks, and maybe longer.
COVID-19 has been surging in parts of northern England, Greater Manchester, East Lancashire and parts of West Yorkshire are no longer able to meet with anyone inside of their homes, which is the strictest lockdown procedures in the UK, to date.
Land-based casinos were planned to open on August 1, but the UK government made its decision to delay, on July 29. Casinos have been closed since March 20, but smaller vendors including betting shops and bingo halls were able to reopen on July 4.
“We simply cannot take the risk; we will continue to study the data carefully and move forward with our intention to open up as soon as we can,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson commented.
BGC Upset by Decision
The UK Betting and Gaming Council is adamantly opposed to the governments decision and Michael Dugher, the Council's chief executive stated that there is “no evidence” that points to casinos being a high-risk venue, especially with the safety precautions in place.
In a Twitter post, Dugher posted, “What happened to the government’s local lockdown strategy. Why should a casino business remain closed in Bristol in the southwest, where Covid-19 is low because there’s a spike in Greater Manchester? A big threat to jobs.”
The North of the UK has been hit very hard, and even the Scottish government has warned its citizens about travel to the region, saying that all non-essential travel should be postponed.
Scotland has set a tentative date of August 24 for its casinos to reopen, while the Welsh government has yet to announce a date for reopening.