The Betting and Gaming Council have confirmed that land-based casinos in England will be allowed to reopen from Saturday, July 4th as long as they adhere to strict anti-COVID standards.
It was confirmed by the UK Government last month that the hospitality and leisure industries can start to reopen as part of the third phase of the easing of lockdown restrictions in England. Land-based casinos have been closed since lockdown was enforced on March 23rd, to combat the spread of COVID-19.
How Casinos are adapting for reopening
Casino operators plan on opening their doors again on the given date from the Government. They will be imposing rules on customers such as one person allowed in at a time with the two-metre social distance being strictly enforced.
Upon their reopening, stringent hygiene rules and distancing measures will be put in place at all casinos to ensure the safety of all the casino staff and customers. This will include customers using sanitisers when they enter the casino, as well when they join and leave a gambling table.
What the BGC says on Casinos reopening
The BGC did say that capacity limits at casino tables will be enforced and face coverings will be available to customers should they request them.
The BGC’s Chief Executive, Michael Dugher, had this to say on the reopening of land-based casinos: “I know that the casino operators have been working tirelessly to ensure that when they do reopen for business again, every possible measure will be in place to ensure the health and safety of everyone who enters the premises – from the availability of hand sanitisers and protective equipment to adherence to the latest Government current social distancing rules.
“Casinos make a significant contribution to the economy, including through taxation and employment, as part of the leisure, hospitality, entertainment and tourism sectors.
“They have also played a hugely important role, not just in the national effort to combat COVID-19 by keeping their doors shut since March, but also through their support for communities – for example with the provision of food from their kitchens and the use of their venues.”
The casino sector contributes more than £300m a year to the UK Exchequer and employs nearly 13,000 people. Upon reopening, staff will be trained to promote safer gambling for guests returning to venues.
Dugher went onto say: “It is welcome that they are in line to reopen again from July 4th, but the message to the Government now is that they are ready, willing and able to open safely.
“We know that the casino sector faces some very tough times ahead, and the threat posed by COVID to many businesses won’t go away quickly. That’s why we would also urge the Government to continue to be flexible in their approach to the hospitality and leisure industry as its furlough scheme is wound down.
“Even though they will be ready to open their doors on July 4th, casinos will still be forced to operate at a reduced capacity for some time to come because of the need to maintain social distancing. We would urge the Chancellor to keep being flexible and continue providing support as the country emerges from the pandemic.”
Most casinos will be able to reopen. However, the BGC did say that some more high-end casinos won’t be able to reopen due to a majority of its clientele being overseas tourists.
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