Casinos in the UK have offered to stop all alcohol sales in order to avoid another closure, which could lead to job losses in the thousands. The gaming facilities have 14,000 employees have provided over one billion pounds to the Treasury within the last three years. The casinos closed a few months ago when the COVID-19 pandemic became a problem in the UK and now fear closure once again due to the latest restrictions introduced by the government regarding the virus.
New Local Lockdowns
Next week, it is expected that Prime Minister Boris Johnson will announce a new series of local lockdowns, set in a three-tier system. This could require businesses in the hospitality industry to shut down for weeks to try and decrease the infection rate.
This change comes soon after hospitality businesses were shut down in the central portion of Scotland. This includes the areas of Edinburgh and Glasgow. Included in the closures are casinos. Gambling facilities in Wales and England feel that a similar decision would be a disaster for the industry as they are still feeling the effects of the first lockdown from earlier in the year.
Casinos just reopened in August and have been praised by Public Health England for having top-quality measures regarding the virus. Despite this, leisure and hospitality businesses were hit with a curfew of 10pm in September to try and curb the increase in COVID cases.
No Alcohol Sales
To try and avoid shutting down again, the casinos are preparing to stop selling alcohol. The 10 pm curfew has already hurt business for the gaming venues. The casinos do not fall in line with the bars and restaurants, businesses that are also part of the blanket ban, as their purpose is not to serve alcohol but to offer entertainment.
Betting and Gaming Council chief executive Michael Dugher is urging every MP to lobby the government to keep casinos in operation. Dugher stated that ministers need to understand that casinos are not ‘pseudo-nightclubs or places where young people go to drink.’
Even though the casinos are not places such as this, they are willing to reduce the risk level by stopping alcohol service, as the government thinks this is another factor that contributes to the spread.