The Betting And Gaming Council, the single industry association for betting and gaming and representing casinos in the UK, has today slammed the UK Government for its casino U-Turn following the weeks of casinos such as Genting, Gala and Grosvenor preparing to re-open for business on the 1st August 2020.
It has been nearly five months that casino premises have been shuttered due to the Covid-19 pandemic and after being given the green light to re-open, the decision has now been rescinded.
In a huge blow to the casino industry, casinos in England, UK, are to remain closed for at least another 14 days, meaning that almost 15,000 employees will be left in limbo, many of whom were previously on the governments furlough scheme.
In addition, casinos in the UK pay almost six million pounds in tax per week, meaning that the decision will seriously impact both the economy and state of operations within the industry.
Michael Dugher, Chief Executive Officer of the Betting And Gaming Council made a statement on the situation, decision to revoke re-opening and the impact:
“This latest fiasco represents a huge blow to the casino industry which will now have remained closed for nearly 5 months. Casinos are a fundamental part of our leisure, hospitality, entertainment and tourism industry.
They employ over 14,000 people and indirectly support another 4,000 jobs across the UK, and last year casinos paid over £5.7m million in tax per week.
Casinos want to get back in business and once again contributing to the economy.
The DCMS have supported our efforts to get casinos reopened, yet have been excluded from this shambolic decision.
Having made the necessary preparations for reopening, we call on the Government to permit casinos to reopen.
The support from HM Treasury, such as the Job Retention Scheme, has really helped but now our members will be forced to pay National Insurance on top of salaries in August while they remain closed.
As furlough payments are phased out, there will be no flexibility for casinos to adapt to the new working and leisure environment when they are eventually allowed to reopen.”
In response to the UK governments decision, Dugher has written a letter to Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer within the Government of the United Kingdom. The letter can be read by clicking here.