It has been announced today by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson that casinos in England will not open tomorrow as previously planned.
Many casino venues around England had been planning a return to business operations following the months of shutdown and giving the go-ahead.
However, today’s public announcement by the UK government means that businesses such as Genting Casinos and Grosvenor Casinos have been left with less than 24 hours notice that they will be unable to open for business despite planning and implementing Covid-19 secure measures for health and safety.
Boris Johnson stated that he was ‘squeezing the brake’ on easing lockdown measures in England due to the increased level of risk of infection from Coronavirus.
Other high-street gaming and hospitality businesses in England are also to remain shuttered for at least another two weeks.
Management and executives at leading casinos in England have spoke out about the decision and the short notice, stating that it will have a serious impact.
A spokesperson for Genting, a leading casino chain in the United Kingdom shared his views on the announcement:
“After weeks of meticulous planning, we find it incredible that we have been given less than 24 hours’ notice as to this change of plan, which in itself has caused huge damage to the business.
Significant numbers of staff have been brought back from furlough to prepare for the reopening, and this is devastating news for our entire team who now face further worry and uncertainty. For every week we remain closed, it is costing us over £1.5m as a company. This is clearly not sustainable, with more jobs and livelihoods being put at risk with every last-minute change and delay.”
The spokesperson continued to vent frustration and compared its own measures with already-open premises in England:
“We recognize that incredibly difficult decisions have to be made by all those in Government, but we are absolutely confident that our venues are as safe, if not more so, than a range of other businesses now currently operating.
Public Health England has already stated that they are happy with the extensive Covid-19 measures we have implemented.
This decision therefore defies logic and seriously threatens the future of the entire industry. We are now seeking urgent clarity from the Government and are working on contingency plans. We also absolutely urge the Government to reconsider the blanket withdrawal of the furlough scheme from the affected industries who are still not permitted to re-open.”
Overall, Genting currently operates more than 40 casinos across the United Kingdom, many of which are in England and will have to remain shuttered despite preparations to make the properites Covid-19 safe.