The British gambling standards body, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), has denounced the UK government’s decision to further put off the reopening of landbased casinos while allowing other entertainment and hospitality businesses to resume their operations as planned, on July 4.
In an official Tuesday statement, Great Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, announced he had decided to lift the coronavirus restrictions on a broad variety of businesses, including hair salons, dining establishments, pubs, hotels, and museums.
However, gambling venues, which shut their doors to customers on March 23, did not make it on the PM’s list of businesses that can resume their operations early next month. The gambling standards body was outraged by this decision and slammed it as “inconsistent”.
According to the BGC, casinos around the country have prepared to resume their services and have adopted all the necessary measures to safeguard both their staff members and patrons. Said measures are all in line with the government’s anti-coronavirus guidelines, the BGC insisted.
The BGC Insists Casinos Are Ready to Comply with All Safety Measures
Patrons would be required to disinfect their hands with sanitisers before they can step inside, join or leave the gaming tables. They would enter the premises one person at a time. If queues form outside, the waiting patrons would have to comply with social distancing rules. The casinos would also not operate at full capacity to decrease the risk of infection.
Additionally, face masks would be made available to patrons upon request. The gaming space has also been redesigned to help with social distancing. As for the gaming machines, these would be disinfected after every single betting session. The same goes for the ATMs, which would be disinfected at least once each hour.
Plexiglass dividers are installed to protect any potential spreading of the disease among staff members and casino goers. However, the Prime Minister appears to have disregarded all these measures by not including UK casinos on the lengthy list of venues that can reopen on July 4.
Casinos Contribute over £300 Million in Taxes to the HM Treasury
The BGC Chief Executive, Mr Michael Dugher, commented the casinos’ exclusion from the list, while other businesses were allowed to reopen, was “frankly nonsensical”. Mr Dugher stressed that gambling venues across the country have majorly contributed to the UK economy through tax revenue and thousands of employment positions.
The BGC’s Chief Executive also reminded the landbased gaming sector pours over £300 million into the HM Treasury and provides jobs to more than 14,000 employees. Landbased gambling operators have met all the government requirements to ensure the safety of everyone who enters their premises from July 4 onward.
Mr Dugher expressed his disappointment at the delay in the casinos’ reopening. He stressed that the BGC is prepared to urgently cooperate with the British government to make sure landbased gambling venues around the country can safely open their doors to customers as soon as possible.