In the United Kingdom and Friday reportedly saw the government order every one of the nation’s casinos, betting shops and bingo halls to shut for a month in order to help stop the spread of a highly-contagious coronavirus strain that has so far killed 303 locals.
According to a report from The Independent newspaper, the shuttering moreover included restaurants, museums, nightclubs, pubs, gyms, cinemas and leisure centers with compliance due to be monitored and enforced by the police working in partnership with Environmental Health and Trading Standards officials.
The newspaper reported that British Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, used a Friday press briefing to implore people to stay at home ‘as far as possible’ alongside describing the closures as a necessary step that would help the nation reduce ‘unnecessary’ social gatherings by up to 75% so as to have a measurable impact on rates of coronavirus infection.
Johnson reportedly declared…
“The speed of our eventual recovery depends entirely on our collective ability to get on top of the virus now and that means we have to take the next steps on scientific advice. And following our plan we are strengthening the measures announced on Monday. We need now to push down further on that curve of transmission between us.”
The Independent furthermore reported that London-listed GVC Holdings, which is the nation’s most ubiquitous bookmaker courtesy of the over 3,500 high street betting shops run via its Ladbrokes Coral Group subsidiary, immediately responded to the government’s order by proclaiming that every one of its branches would be ‘temporarily’ closing their doors ‘from the close of business’ on Friday.
Reportedly read the statement from GVC Holdings…
“It is very welcome to now have clarity and reassurance from the Government on this serious matter, as the safety and well-being of our colleagues and customers is of paramount importance.”
iGamingBusiness.com used a subsequent report to detail that the same Friday briefing saw Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak unveil his department’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, which has been designed to support businesses and people affected by these closures. This program will purportedly cover 80% of employee salaries up to a total of £2,500 ($2,880) a month while additionally giving impacted firms the ability to make up the reminder of these wages.
Reportedly read a statement from Sunak…
“That means workers in any part of the United Kingdom can retain their job even if their employer cannot afford to pay them and be paid at least 80% of their salary. The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme will cover the cost of wages backdated to March 1 and will be open initially for at least three months. I will extend the scheme for longer if necessary. I am placing no limit on the amount of funding available for the scheme. We will pay grants to support as many jobs as necessary. We said we would stand together with the British people and we meant it.”