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BGC urges Scottish and Welsh governments to publish casino reopening plans

The Betting and Gaming Council has urged the governments of Scotland and wales clarify when casinos will be allowed to reopen.

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has urged the Scottish and Welsh governments to publish their plans regarding the reopening of casino venues to help bring clarity to business owners and employees.

This comes after the BGC criticised the Scottish government’s decision to re-impose restrictions on retail betting shops.

BGC urges governments in Scotland and Wales

The BGC cited the English government’s decision to allow land-based casinos to reopen on 1 August after they had been closed in March for more than four months due to the coronavirus pandemic.

In its statement, the BGC also highlighted that casinos in the UK employ 14,000 people and contribute around £300 million a year to the Treasury and have introduced a range of safety measures to protect staff and customers.

These safety measures include an advanced track and trace systems, Perspex screens, social distancing rules and hand sanitiser stations.

A BGC spokesperson said: “We were delighted when the UK government announced that casinos in England could re-open from 1 August.

“It was a tremendous boost for their staff and customers, but also for the Treasury, which has been spending £5 million a week on furlough costs for casino workers during lockdown.

“It is now time for ministers in Edinburgh and Cardiff to end the uncertainty which still faces 2,000 casino staff in Scotland and Wales by giving them a date for re-opening. Businesses need clarity and so far this has been lacking from both administrations. We urge them to work with casinos to allow to re-open safely.”

Scottish government reverses restrictions on betting shops

Last week, the Scottish government came under fire for ordering betting shops in Scotland to keep their gambling machines turned off until further notice.

This came after just days after the Scottish government announced it would be lifting a set of restrictions on betting shops which included removing all chairs, turning off gaming machines and no longer showing any live racing on TVs in-store.

The BGC noted that while these restrictions were in place turnover fell by 95% in some Scottish betting shops.

Scotland’s betting shops were allowed to reopen on 29 June following the country’s coronavirus lockdown.

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