BGC responds to new Scottish casino restrictions

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has issued a response to new COVID-19 restrictions enforced in casinos in Scotland. 

A number of indoor businesses in Central Scotland will be closed from tomorrow (9th October), until at least 25th October. 

3.4 million people in the country of 5.45 million will be affected by the measures, which were enforced after a spike in cases. 

“This will come as a huge blow to casinos”

Scotland’s new restrictions will apply to Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran – as well as Lothian and Forth Valley. 

In addition to casinos, indoor bowling alleys and bingo halls will also have to shut their doors. Outside of the restricted areas, hospitality areas can only open within specific hours and are not allowed to sell alcohol. 

In an article published on its website, a BGC spokesperson said the following. 

“This news will come as a huge blow to casinos in Scotland, which only reopened their doors in August and who have been trying to rebuild their businesses since then. 

“However, we welcome the First Minister’s announcement of financial help for the hospitality sector, and call on the Scottish Government to ensure it gets to the businesses that need it most – including casinos – as quickly as possible.”

A joy short lived 

Casinos in Scotland were only allowed to reopen again from 24th August, which was later than had been allowed in England. They had been closed for five months in a bid to stop the spread of the virus. 

Despite the frustration of having to lock their doors again, venues affected by the government’s changes will be eligible to receive financial support from the government. Businesses impacted will have an extra £40 million available to them. 

Scotland reported 1,054 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has urged immediate parliamentary action to avoid a return to the levels witnessed this spring. She also commented on the new restrictions and said the below. 

“While there are significant restrictions still in place – and they are hard and painful – we are living much more freely now than in the spring and early summer.

“The need for action is highlighted by today’s figures and, more fundamentally, in the evidence paper published today. To try to interrupt this trajectory, we must act now. While the measures will feel like a backward step, they are in the interests of protecting our progress overall. 

“It is by taking the tough but necessary action now that we hope to avoid even tougher action in future.”

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