The UK Betting and Gaming council, the single industry association for betting and gaming that represents betting shops, online gaming businesses and casinos, has made a statement following the introduction of a 10pm curfew on leisure venues, including casinos, in the North East region of England.
The statement reads:
‘This is a hugely disappointing and illogical decision which will inevitably lead to job losses in the casino sector.
While we fully support the need to act quickly to protect public health, the simple fact is that casinos are among the most Covid-secure in the country, so ordering their closure as a way of slowing the spread of the virus makes no sense.
Just last month, casinos in England were given the go-ahead by public health experts to re-open after they saw for themselves the anti-Covid measures they had put in place – from Perspex screens to best-in-class track and trace systems.
What’s more, most casino customers are on their own or in couples, making it easier to maintain social distancing in venues.
And with casinos doing between 50 and 70 per cent of their trade between 10pm and 5am, they will be disproportionately harmed by the Government’s decision, meaning some may never be able to open their doors again.
We would urge ministers to urgently reconsider this catastrophic and retrograde move.’
The North East includes major towns and cities, including: Newcastle upon Tyne, Sunderland and Durham, along with Darlington, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Hexham, Middlesbrough, South Shields and Stockton-on-Tees.
The news comes in spite of a letter that was written to Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden outlining concerns and the impact of such curfew measures.