UK casinos, also referred to as land-based or brick and mortar casinos, could re-open from July 2020 at the earliest, according to the latest speech on Covid-19 from Boris Johnson and the UK Government.
Yesterday, during the highly-anticipated announcement, speech and summary of Coronavirus activity in the United Kingdom, the UK Prime Minister outlined a series of measures and a potential timeline for recovery of UK businesses, including the hospitality sector of which casinos are part of.
In casinos on the UK’s high-streets, it is not uncommon to find a range of table games such as blackjack and roulette and slot machines where patrons are regularly in close proximity. During time spent in a casino, customers are close sharing gaming machines, sitting close to each other, particularly in multi-seat blackjack or poker, and using the same casino chips as a previous player.
This undoubtedly throws some doubt at the latest plans, which are reiterated as potential plans, along with making it difficult for both government ministers and casino owners / operators to re-open their establishments.
Plans to lift lockdown measures in the UK are highly dependent on scientific advice and the possibility of keeping measures in place for social distancing. This means that if the casino industry is to re-open for business, it could potentially change the landscape of casinos for the foreseeable and possible long-term future.
The latest guidance is not without its questions or doubts. According to UK media news outlet BBC; government guidance stated that any venues with bar areas or seated areas in cafes and restaurants must stay closed during early recovery and re-opening of the economy and that only takeaways are to be served.
Another major factor in the running of the casino and hospitality industries is travel arrangements. During the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s speech last night, it was announced that a quarantine procedure was to be introduced in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland for visitors arriving by air-travel.
Three possible prevention measures may also be introduced, which could be replicated in casino establishments, including: thermal imaging cameras that people have to walk through, health screening and mandatory face mask use.
More updates on how the UK economy will recover including plans for hotels and casinos are to follow later today.