The UK Government has revealed that Merseyside casinos and betting outlets are to cease operations as of today, October 14th. The closures will be made as part of the measures taken by the authorities to stop the further spread of the coronavirus infection.
On October 12th, Prime Minister Boris Johnson officially announced a new three-tier system of restrictions in England. The system is to apply to each of the country’s regions depending on the risk of transmission of the infection. The first tier would include regions with the lowest rates of the coronavirus infection and will face the basic rules that apply nation-wide, including “the rule of six” and restaurants’ and pubs’ closing time set at 10:00 PM. The second tier would include regions with moderate rates of the Covid-19 infection.
Tier three includes the highest level of restrictions for regions where transmissions are siding the most. For the time being, the Liverpool City Region, which includes Liverpool, Wirral, Halton, Knowsley, St Helens and Sefton, is the only region placed in this tier.
Under the newly-unveiled measures, all casinos and betting shops in the region must cease operations as of October 14th, along with leisure centres and gyms. Bars and pubs are also set to close doors except in cases where households and serving meals will be unable to mix indoors or outdoors.
UK Gambling Sector Already Hit by Previous Lockdown Measures
A week ago, Scotland authorities revealed that local casinos, restaurants and pubs will remain shut in central Scotland from October 9th at least to October 25th.
It still remains unknown whether the gambling sector in other regions will be affected by the newly-announced measures, which are set to be reviewed after every month. The announcement followed an increase in the number of coronavirus cases in England, which saw almost 14,000 confirmed positive tests on October 12th.
The latest restrictions imposed on the Liverpool City Region came as another major blow for the gambling and retail sector in the country. Local betting outlets have been open since June 15th after already being forced to shut in the middle of March, while casino venues reopened on August 15th.
As mentioned above, the area situated in North West England is the first region in the UK to be subjected to stricter new lockdown measures after being categorised with a tier-three alert. As such, the Liverpool City Region is to face what Prime Minister Boris Johnson described as “more severe action” to prevent any households from mixing indoors and outdoors. For the time being, schools, universities and shops are set to remain open.
According to the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), the newly-announced closure of betting outlets in Liverpool City Region and the potential closures of thousands of other betting shops across the country will have an extremely negative impact on the finances of the gambling and racing industries. A spokesman of the BHA insisted that betting shops have shown they are able to operate safely and said that the Authority did not understand the reason for the closures, considering the fact that other retail operations remain unaffected by the measures.