The Betting And Gaming Council in the UK has today called for the government backed furlough scheme to be extended as one-hundred casinos are at risk of permanent damage due to the further delay on re-opening amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The organisation has stated that the UK is at risk of permanently losing part of its ‘rich tourism and entertainment heritage’ unless a decision is reversed to delay the re-opening of properties and that the furlough scheme is extended to cover employee wages during the period of uncertainty.
Michael Dugher of the Betting And Gaming Council explained how serious the situation is for the gambling industry:
“World famous and iconic venues like the Hippodrome and Les Ambassadeurs are not just part of our proud past, they want to be part of economic revival in the future.
They are not looking for a hand out – they are looking to help out. By reopening safely so they can play their part in contributing to getting the economy moving again and to contributing vital tax revenues to the Exchequer.
Some of Britain’s most iconic casinos, who attract high spending visitors from around the world, are sitting idle whilst pubs and restaurants round the corner are open and doing a roaring trade.
The Government must step in to save these businesses before it’s too late.
As a first step, they should extend the full furlough scheme to help offset the £14 million casinos are expected to lose as a result of the two week delay and compensate casinos for the wasted costs of the late change of decision on their reopening.
Casino operators have done everything asked of them by Public Health England. They have gone to extraordinary lengths and cost to ensure their venues are Covid secure.
They were rightly given the green light to reopen by public health officials who recognised the significant investment operators had made and the negligible risk they posed”
Casinos that are famous, such as London Hippodrome and Les Ambassadeurs, along with more than 100 other properties in England have an uncertain future, partly due to the closure extension announcement by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
According to reports, casino operators are donating around £200k in food and drink to local charities to help with the current and ongoing health crisis.