UK casinos set to reopen 15 August

  • Updated
  • By Hannah Timoney
Casinos Reopening

The UK government has finally announced a date for UK casinos to be able to reopen. These casinos have been closed since 20 March, just days before the UK entered lockdown in response to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic which brought the country to a halt. 

Previously, casinos were due to reopen on 1 August, when the government allowed relaxing of certain lockdown measures. Casinos across the country started preparation, implementing new sanitation measures and training staff on social distancing. However, less than 24 hours before opening the government expressed concerns about a second spike and delayed reopening for another two weeks.

The new ruling allowing casinos to open also applies to other venues such as theatres and beauty salons across England, though local rules apply to Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Scotland has tentatively indicated the reopening to be scheduled for 24 August, though continues to monitor the Covid-19 situation and adjust this date accordingly. 

The Betting and Gambling Council (BGC) called the reopening a ‘welcome relief,’ after urging the government to reconsider the delay, though added that the sector still faces tough times, as land-based casinos lost substantial amounts of money during the closure period. ‘The last five months has left many casinos on the brink and the next few months will be particularly crucial to their recovery as the tourism, leisure and hospitality sector slowly gets back on its feet,’ Michael Dugher, BGC chief executive announced. He added, ‘Casinos have invested heavily in Covid safeguards; there can be no justification for further delaying their opening.’