The England's month long lockdown, which began on November 5th, is set to draw to a close on the 2nd December. Pending the lifting of the restrictions, Boris Johnson has announced that some new tier regulations will come into effect immediately.
Similar to the three tiered system that was in place across the UK in September and October, these new tiers come with rules that retail and hospitality businesses must follow to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in affected areas.
It is currently undetermined which tier category each county will be placed into, though this information will be announced on Thursday, the 26th of November. These tiers will determine which non-essential businesses are allowed to reopen and for how many hours in the day. So, where do casinos stand?
In Tier 1, which means Medium Alert casinos will be allowed to re-open, along with other hospitality businesses such as restaurants, cinemas, museums, and bowling alleys. These will have to close at 11pm, and must continue to follow strict Covid guidelines, including social distancing and wearing masks at all times.
For areas in the new Tier 2 casinos will be allowed to re-open as long as they close at 11pm and follow Covid guidelines regarding social distancing and increased sanitation schedules. Restaurants and pubs will be allowed to re-open as long as they are operating a table service and stop taking orders at 10pm.
Previously, the BGC offered to stop the sale of alcohol in order to be able to remain open past the 10pm curfew, though this was not approved by the government.
Under the new Tier 3 regulations, hospitality settings such as bars and restaurants, and indoor entertainment venues such as casinos and bingo halls must remain closed.
Betting shops, however, will be allowed to re-open in Tier 3 areas. The BGC thanks "the UK Government for allowing betting shops to re-open in Tier 3 areas - but vows to continue to press for the full and safe reopening of casinos too." These betting shops will be allowed to open with some restrictions in place, including limits on customers, the removal of chairs and a ban on live sport being shown.
Michael Dugher of the BGC says “Casinos are best-in-class amongst the hospitality sector when it comes to anti-Covid measures. There is no evidence that they contribute to the spread of the virus,” and expressed his disappointment that they are being ordered to close in Tier 3 areas.
“We do welcome the decision to extend the hospitality curfew by an hour to 11pm, but we will continue to make the case that casinos are uniquely exposed to any curfew and we will press for their full and safe reopening in all parts of the country.”
As the novel coronavirus continues to affect all areas of the country and all aspects of our lives, it is important to continue to gamble responsibly. If you would like more advice and information on how to ensure you are gambling safely, check out our Safer Gambling hub page.
Hannah has written news articles and lifestyle blogs for three years. Venturing into the gambling industry Hannah is writing gambling content for Online Bingo and has written content for Lodgis Paris.
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