With the UK Industry on Borrowed Time, BGC Expresses Shock at Latest Re-Opening Delay

Published August 12, 2020 by Lee R

With the UK Industry on Borrowed Time, BGC Expresses Shock at Latest Re-Opening Delay

To the chagrin of industry stakeholders, the principles guiding the UK's re-opening policy are muddled at best.

While the British trade association Betting and Gaming Council BGC has been working fervently to get the industry in the UK back on track, the leading trade association representing gaming operators and suppliers in the UK is also exceedingly pragmatic in saying the UK casino industry actually “may never recover” from the UK government’s decision to further delay the reopening of venues in England.

Re-opening Delays

The assessment was made in response to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's announcement last Friday that casino venues would not be allowed to reopen as originally promised on August 1st, with the newest postponement delaying loosening of restrictions until at least August 15th.

BGC CEO Not Comprehending

BGC CEO Michael Dugher called the announced decision “highly illogical” immediately upon hearing it, in offering organisational data revealing the latest delay will cost upwards of £5m ($6.5m) for each week venues remain closed.

Costs of Delays

The BGC further assessed the costs of the hoped for 1 August reopening at some £6m, while putting 6,000 casino sector jobs in jeopardy of being lost permanently.

Questioning Government Policy

Dugher reserved his most extreme analogy for the government, calling the decision “a wrecking ball” the government is swinging “right through the middle of our industry.” He further found fault with the mounting job losses impending, which Dugher called “unnecessary and avoidable...unless ministers act fast.”

Dugher further characterised the holding pattern as “unsustainable.”

Agreement Thought in Place

This is more than just bias or self-interest on display from Dugher, whose organisation's motivation to open has been fueled by operators already achieving approval for re-opening. Dugher says precautions were already taken which “were given the green light by Public Health England” after “having been told by the Government themselves that casinos posed a “negligible” risk compared with the tens of thousands of other places that have been reopened.”


It is not the lack of ability of casinos to protect themselves that is at issue here then: it is the lack of the government's willingness to open in general, an obstinancewhich if it brings one more delay beyond August 15th would according to Rank Group CEO John O’Reilly put the iGaming's largest global market in a “heap of trouble.” 

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