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UK casinos in frenzy over latest COVID-19 closures

  • by Stelly in Industry
  • October 24, 2020

The latest COVID-19 restrictions has UK casinos worried. Liverpool Casinos are among the first forced back into closure.


After months of closure, things started turning around for land-based casinos with gradual reopenings. The current COVID-19 pandemic has left many uncertain and adapting daily to new changes.

It seems the excitement and relief were short-lived for many casinos in the UK with restrictions being put in place yet again.

Liverpool casinos are among the first to fall victim to the COVID impact put in place by the UK government.

Tightening the grip

On the 14th of October 2020, temporary closure restrictions were reinforced on all casinos and betting shops in Merseyside and surrounds. The temporary closures are part of the continuous attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

In the announcement, Prime Minister, Boris Johnston announced the latest three-tier system for restrictions. The system focuses on the risk of transmission in areas and based on statistics Liverpool falls in the top-tier risk of infection.

Thus, all tier three areas will remain under temporary closure until 25th October at the earliest.

In defence of the latest restrictions, Prime Minister Johnston made a valid point. Stating that nobody wants to live this way but it is "the narrow path we must tread between the social and economic trauma of a full lockdown and the massive human and economic cost of an uncontained epidemic".

Pushback from the BGC

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) is extremely concerned about what effects the latest restrictions and closures could have on businesses.

In a statement on their website, they urged the government to take the implications of these temporary closures into consideration.

The BGC stated that casinos want a quick return to a situation where they can generate revenues for the treasury rather than needing financial support.

If closures continue, they will have to take advantage of the Chancellor's latest announcement. This will provide only some comfort to the thousands of staff members currently fearing job stability.

The struggle continues

The casino industry re-opened in August but it has been a rocky road with a 70% profit decrease since last year.

The casino industry has already proven that they are responsible and capable of implementing the best in health measures. BCG Chief Executive, Michael Dugher, wrote to UK Parliament member requesting support. Dugher stated that thanks to 'world-class track and trace systems, the use of Perspex screens, hand sanitisers and strict social distancing rules', casinos are COVID secure.

According to Dugher, there are no public health grounds to continue the closure on land-based casinos. In his plea, he stated that casinos should not be in the same category as nightclubs where young people go to drink. Casinos continue to reduce the risk levels and are willing to refuse serving alcohol if this will ensure that they can keep operating at this current time.

Who will be next?

Casinos are closing across the globe with Scotland being among the many to force the casino industry into a COVID shutdown. The Scotland casino industry was among many hospitality venues forced into closure by Scotland's First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.

This was a massive blow to the entire Scottish casino industry considering they only re-opened their doors in August. Dutch Casinos have also suffered from hours being trimmed down and all UK racing meets are cancelled until further notice.

Casinos are trying to recover and rebuild after months of being closed down. The focus is not just on making up for lost revenue but staying afloat and keeping on as many employees as possible.

The latest COVID-19 shutdowns and restrictions are a huge concern for many land-based casinos who recently re-opened and takes great care in adding extra safety measures, to protect players and employees during the current pandemic. With that being said, you might want to choose online casinos rather than land-based to keep yourself protected.

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