On Wednesday, Boris Johnson announced plans to re-open pubs, restaurants, hotels and hairdressers on 4th July after over three months of lockdown due to COVID-19. The Betting and Gambling Council, the UK’s gambling trading standards organisation, has expressed disappointment that casinos aren’t included, claiming they’re ready to open their doors again.
The BGC previously stated on June 3rd that casinos are ready to reopen, after introducing new rules for players that enforce social distancing and the mandatory use of hand sanitiser. New floor plans and a regular cleaning/sanitation schedule have also been prepared, to ensure casinos are safe to a high enough standard to re-open alongside other hospitality businesses.
However, despite letting the government know very clearly that casinos were ready to reopen on July 4th with all the necessary safety measures in place, the Council’s words have been overlooked and casinos were not included.
A BGC spokesperson said: “It is inconsistent and frankly nonsensical that casinos are being forced to remain closed, when other parts of the hospitality and leisure industry are opening up again.”
They continued: “Casinos have done everything that they were asked to do by the government and they have pulled out all the stops to ensure they are able to open their doors safely for both staff and customers from 4 July.”
In the US, Las Vegas casinos were shut down on 13th March in an unprecedented closure, before re-opening with protective measures in place on June 5th, despite a continued rise in the number of people infected in the country.
Whether casinos will be allowed open any time soon is currently a mystery, but we think that holding off on letting the public into establishments dominated by touchscreens, where cards and chips change hands regularly is probably a good idea for this first run at easing lockdown.