Casinos in England, United Kingdom, have been left ‘on the brink’ from the Covid-19 pandemic shutdown and delayed re-opening by the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, according to the chief executive officer of the Betting and Gaming Council.
The gaming and hospitality industry within the UK is currently in crisis and the future looks uncertain for many gaming establishments around the country.
With the devolved powers of each UK, casinos in Wales and Scotland are still to remain closed beyond tomorrow’s re-opening date for casinos in England.
Initially casinos across England had been told to prepare for re-opening on the 1st August 2020, but spikes and uncertainty in the Coronavirus infection rate caused a shock, short-notice announcement to the industry that re-opening on the initial planned date was not happening.
Instead, a date of Saturday 15th August 2020 was penned in, which is now being described as a ‘welcome relief’ for workers in the gaming and hospitality sector.
Despite the good news that re-opening looks likely tomorrow, the Betting and Gaming Council has stated that difficult days lie ahead for the industry and that the next few months will be crucial to the organisations’ recovery.
Michael Dugher of the Betting and Gaming Council shared comments on tomorrow’s re-opening and what it means for gaming businesses in England:
“This belated good news will come as a welcome relief to the 12,000 people employed in the casino sector in England.
We regret that it has taken so long for staff to return to work – long after all manner of venues and activities, that don’t have anything like the anti-covid measures you will see in any casino, were reopened.
Given casinos had been cleared by Public Health England as safe to reopen and given we had the strong support of DCMS, who have been steadfast throughout, it was lamentable that our safe businesses had to suffer considerable hurt and expense with a further pointless two week delay.
Casinos are not yet out of the woods though. The last five months has left many casinos on the brink and the next few months will be particularly crucial to their recovery as the tourism, leisure and hospitality sector slowly gets back on its feet.
This sector can play an important part in our national economic recovery and I hope ministers will continue to work closely with the industry to provide support through this difficult period. In return, casinos will continue to play their part in helping to revive our city centres and nighttime economy, as well as supporting the country through the £1 billion economic contribution it makes in direct and indirect Gross Value Added.”