In the United Kingdom and the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson (pictured) has reportedly announced that he will be asking for parliamentary permission to implement a second substantial coronavirus-related lockdown for England.
According to a Saturday report from The Guardian newspaper, the controversial step from the Conservative politician is due to be put to a vote on Wednesday afternoon with its passage instigating a month-long closure for all non-essential shops as well as leisure and entertainment facilities including casinos and sportsbooks.
The newspaper reported that this new proposed lockdown, which would also involve the shuttering of all dine-in restaurants, bars and pubs, could come into force as soon as Thursday evening with its implementation following an October in which coronavirus was blamed for the deaths of over 4,350 people across the United Kingdom.
The Guardian reported that the entire United Kingdom was put under its first coronavirus-induced lockdown from March 20 with its casinos and betting shops only being allowed to partially re-open following a twelve-week break. However, this second coming quarantine purportedly would not impact leisure facilities in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales although such venues in this latter jurisdiction have been closed since October 23 as part of a two-week ‘firebreak’ move.
The possibility that casinos and betting shops in England may now be forced to close until December 2 has reportedly attracted a large amount of industry condemnation including from Michael Dugher, Chief Executive for The Betting and Gaming Council. The advocate purportedly told Gambling Insider that the move is ‘not remotely about science’ and pointed to the fact that it would result in the temporary closure of some 5,680 land-based sportsbooks while allowing horseracing and other elite sports such as professional football to continue operating.
The Betting and Gaming Council represents approximately 90% of gaming, sportsbetting, casino and bingo operators in the United Kingdom and it used its own press release to proclaim that the British government must now take a ‘science-led approach’ to such anti-coronavirus steps and allow casinos and betting shops to re-open immediately after this latest proposed lockdown ends.
Read a statement from Dugher…
“Nothing matters more to our industry than the safety of our staff and customers, which is why we want to contribute to the national effort to defeat this virus. We also welcome the support for businesses forced to close under the second lockdown. But when we exit this, the government must have a science-led approach and avoid the arbitrary and unnecessary decisions that led to random closures of casinos and betting shops, which damages employment and revenues to the Exchequer.”