BGC urges government to reconsider and let casinos open

  • Updated
  • By Max Wright
BGC urges government to open casinos

The Betting and Gaming Council have made another statement urging the government to consider reopening casinos in the UK in July. After publicly announcing last week that all casinos have been primed and ready to reopen since June 15th, the government’s silence has caused BGC’s chief executive Michael Dugher to express his disappointment again.

In a post on the BGC website, Dugher can be seen paying a visit to the Rialto Casino in London, which is part of the Grosvenor chain. The visit was to see how these casinos have implemented social distancing and sanitisation measures, with Dugher remarking that they had “pulled out all the stops”. 

The post includes photos of Dugher sitting at tables outfitted with clear plastic guards, and shows dealers wearing face guards too, illustrating the measures put in place to protect players. A second photo shows how the casinos are laid out to keep customers moving in one direction and at a safe distance, with clearly marked hand sanitising stations too.

Despite all of these safety measures, the government failed to touch on casinos in its plans to ease lockdown and open hospitality businesses like pubs, restaurants and hotels. A decision that the BGC called “inconsistent and frankly nonsensical”.

“We want to play our part in kick starting the economy,” says Dugher, “ in this time of great economic uncertainty, the contribution that casinos make to the nation’s finances cannot be under-estimated.” 

The casino industry employs over 14,000 people and makes £300 million a year in tax for the government, something the BGC want to remind the government as they consider what industries to open as COVID lockdown is eased.

Dugher signs off with one final message “We hope that the Government will respond positively and quickly – and avoid the threat of significant job losses”. With the UK preparing for the grand reopening of pubs this weekend, it looks like gamblers are going to have to continue playing at online casino sites for the foreseeable future.