Betting shops in Scotland are reportedly celebrating after being told that they are to be allowed to fully re-open from next week without having to follow a strict set of rules that had barred such venues from showing live races or featuring chairs.
According to a report from the East Lothian Courier newspaper, the regulations also include a prohibition on gaming machines such as fixed-odds betting terminals and were brought in so as to help counter the spread of the coronavirus pandemic when the nation’s around 900 bookmakers were permitted to begin emerging from lockdown on June 29.
However, the East Lothian Courier reported that the anti-coronavirus directives had led to turnover at some betting shops in Scotland dropping by as much as 95% as punters either stayed away or travelled across the border into England where such rules are not in effect. The newspaper purportedly detailed that this subsequently prompted warnings from industry bosses and The Betting and Gaming Council lobby group that many of these venues could be forced to close unless the new restrictions were eased.
Michael Dugher, Chief Executive for The Betting and Gaming Council reportedly told the East Lothian Courier that these protests have now prompted the government of Scotland to reveal that betting shops will be allowed to discard the new rules and fully re-open from July 22 although punters are to still be encouraged to follow social distancing rules and utilize complimentary hand sanitizer.
Reportedly read a statement from Dugher…
“We have always said that the extra restrictions imposed on Scottish betting shops were unnecessary. We are delighted that the Scottish government has listened and responded. Betting shops in Scotland can now look forward to playing their part in helping to kick-start the economy, supporting Scottish racing and providing a safe environment for customers who enjoy a flutter.”