GVC to reopen English betting shops from 15 June

GVC Holdings has outlined plans to reopen its betting shops in England next week.

GVC Holdings, the company behind Ladbrokes and Coral, has announced plans to reopen all 2,445 of its Ladbrokes and Coral betting shops from 15 June, in line with the UK government’s easing of lockdown restrictions.

According to the government’s plans for easing lockdown restrictions, non-essential retail shops in England will be permitted to reopen as long as they implement safety procedures and social distancing measures to protect staff and customers.

All retail businesses in the UK, including betting shops, were forced to temporarily close in March as the UK entered a state of lockdown to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.

GVC’s reopening plans

According to GVC’s announcement, property maintenance checks will be carried out each day before shops open such as the cleaning of screens, gaming machines and betting stations.

GVC also announced it will introduce several measures to help support social distancing. This includes the installation of glass barriers at cashier points, customer signage and floor markings. Staff members will also receive training on the new safety measures.

Customers will also be able to use a stylus pen at gaming machines and betting machines so they will not have to physically touch screens or surfaces. GVC will also place additional hand sanitiser stations, hand wash and cleaning products at its shops.

Betting shop employees will have access to disposable gloves, protective shields, and face masks. Enhanced cleaning routines in customer and staff areas will also be carried out.

The company will also provide guidance on maximum customer occupancy levels. These levels will be based on the size and layout of each betting shop, customer entry and exit management procedures, bet placement and payment processes.

GVC will also implement other measures with a focus on safer gambling. These measures will include the monitoring of customer behaviour and wellbeing, in order to identify potentially vulnerable players. GVC will also provide guidance on how customers should interact with those vulnerable players while self-exclusion lists will be reviewed.

Plans to reopen in other parts of the UK

While GVC’s betting shops in England will reopen, it is not yet clear when betting shops in other parts of the UK will open.

The devolved nations of the UK, including Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland have yet to confirm when they will allow non-essential retail businesses to reopen. However, GVC said it would resume activities at betting shops in these regions as and when lockdown restrictions are eased.

GVC chief executive Kenny Alexander said: “We are very pleased to be re-opening our shops in England as the UK begins the first steps in returning to some form of normality.

“Ever since the lockdown was introduced, we have been working tirelessly on a plan which will deliver the safest possible environment for both our customers and our people. I am confident we have achieved that and look forward to welcoming our customers back in the near future.”

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