The UK Government recently decided to move from the full shutdown to a tiered system based on COVID-19 current totals. The changes will begin on December 3. The changes have resulted in some casinos and betting shops being allowed to open soon, while others will have to remain closed. The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has come out in support of the decision to let venues reopen but will continue to press for a full reopening process, with safety protocols in place.

Restriction changes

Right now, betting shops are the only High Street retail facilities that are considered non-essential that are required to close in Tier 3 areas. Based on the new restrictions, the venues will be allowed to remain open. These shops will have to limit customers as well as remove chairs. Live sports cannot be shown on site.

These changes will coincide with regulations already in place regarding COVID-19. Screens for social distancing, hand sanitizer, social distancing, plus track and tracing must remain in place.

BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher commented on the changes, stating that it is great news for customers as well as the thousands of people working at high street betting shops. Members of the BGC have agreed to the new restrictions to help limit any possibility of the virus being transmitted onsite.

Dugher stated further that the BGC looks forward to the lockdown ending in England next week as betting shops will be able to contribute to the Exchequer and play a role in helping the economy to recover.

Disappointment in Tier 3 Area Restrictions

While the BGC is glad lockdown is ending, Dugher showed the group’s disappointment in the fact that casinos in the Tier 3 areas must stay closed. He pointed out that casinos are among the best in the hospitality sector regarding measures against the virus. There is no evidence to support that the venues contribute to its spread.

The BGC welcomes the change to extend the curfew in the hospitality sector to 11pm, however, they will continue to fight for casinos to be allowed to reopen fully.