In the United Kingdom and yesterday’s decision by Prime Minister Boris Johnson to include casinos on the list of venues that must now shut by 10pm owing to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has prompted a dire warning from the Betting and Gaming Council.
Representing approximately 90% of the United Kingdom’s gaming, sportsbetting, casino and bingo operators, the Betting and Gaming Council used an official Tuesday press release to declare that the move obliging gambling-friendly properties to close at the same time as all pubs and restaurants ‘may well have signalled the death knell for the casino industry’.
The Betting and Gaming Council detailed that the 26 land-based casinos in London had earlier offered to temporarily close their bars in an attempt to help the nation stop the spread of the highly-contagious ailment that has so far claimed well over 41,800 local victims. The organization moreover stated that this proposal was set to encompass such prestigious venues as The Hippodrome Casino London, The Empire Casino and The Clermont Club, which it explained do 70% of their business after 10pm, and would have helped to save the jobs of approximately 4,000 people.
Michael Dugher (pictured) serves as Chief Executive for the Betting and Gaming Council and he used the press release to proclaim that the new 10pm closing requirement will potentially ‘slash casino incomes by up to 75% and likely lead to some 7,000 people being made redundant’. He furthermore stated that ‘it is now absolutely vital that the government throws the industry a lifeline’ via the establishment of ‘an urgent economic package’ that will ‘alleviate the damage that this decision will cause’.
Read a statement from Dugher…
“This must include an extension to the furlough scheme beyond October 31 while there is also merit in Labour’s calls for a £1.7 billion ($2.2 billion) High Street Fightback Fund to help those businesses affected by the curfew. Without immediate and substantial financial help from the government, perfectly viable casinos that between them paid £1.3 billion ($1.6 billion) in tax to the Treasury in the last three years will simply go to the wall. How does the Prime Minister hope to power an economic recovery if he’s sat back and allowed whole industries to go to the wall?”