In the United Kingdom and a senior executive for land-based and online gaming operator Rank Group has criticized a government decision that is to see casinos and bingo halls temporarily closed across large tracts of the country’s north.
According to a report from the digital newspaper at BusinessLive, Jonathon Swaine serves as Venues Managing Director for the Maidenhead-headquartered firm behind the Grosvenor Casinos and Mecca Bingo chains and was speaking after Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire were placed under the same ‘Tier 3’ lockdown rules earlier applied to the Liverpool City Region and Lancashire. The source detailed that these stricter anti-coronavirus measures will force all area casinos and bingo halls as well as bars and pubs not serving food to close for at least 28 days from this weekend.
The move from the government of Prime Minister Boris Johnson will result in Rank Group being forced to temporarily shutter nine casinos including the Grosvenor Casino Sheffield and Grosvenor Casino Stockport venues alongside some eleven Mecca Bingo outlets. Swaine reportedly described these forced closures as ‘senseless’ and ‘grossly unfair’ as his firm’s properties are ‘ultra Covid-secure’ and seem to have been targeted ‘with no justification.’
Swaine reportedly told the newspaper…
“The enforced closure of our ultra Covid-secure casinos is senseless. At first, we thought that the decisions being made were arbitrary but it’s now clear that our casinos are being subjected to an aggressive and needless attack by decision-makers who clearly understand nothing of just how safe casinos are and appear determined to damage the land-based betting and gaming industry for the sake of it.”
The former executive with prominent brewer Fuller, Smith and Turner reportedly declared that the coming restrictions will moreover have a ‘hard-hitting’ social and economic impact on businesses across the north of England and could even lead to the loss of ‘huge numbers of jobs’.
Swaine reportedly stated…
“Venues such as pubs are able to remain open and serve alcohol if they also sell a meal, which leaves gambling venues as the only ones ordered by the government to shut up shop. It is grossly unfair. As well as operating to the very highest Covid-secure standards with robust evidence to support that position, casinos support huge numbers of jobs whilst paying up to 50% tax rates to the Exchequer.”
Finally, Swaine reportedly detailed that Rank Group had earlier offered to temporarily shutter bars situated within its casinos across the impacted areas in exchange for being allowed to keep their gambling floors open. However, he purportedly pronounced that his firm is now ‘still being forced to close’ without having been presented with ‘a single shred of evidence that supports that decision’.
Swaine reportedly proclaimed…
“It’s a targeted attack on betting and gaming premises, the tens of thousands of employees and customers in this sector, and the time has come to call it out for what it is.”