Scottish government eases restrictions on bookmakers

Scottish bookmakers will be able to ease coronavirus restrictions.

Later this month, betting shops in Scotland will be able to drop some of the post-lockdown restrictions imposed by the Scottish Government.

While betting shops in Scotland were allowed to reopen on 29 June, the Scottish government ordered them to remove all chairs, turn off gaming machines and no longer show any live racing on TVs.

Scottish betting shop restrictions receive criticism

The restrictions were met with criticism from several industry bodies including the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) who described the restrictions as “unnecessary” and “draconian.”

The BGC said that with the restrictions in place, some shops saw turnover drop by 95% as customers either avoided the shops or went across the border to England to bet.

A campaign led by the BGC also warned that unless the restrictions were dropped, betting shops could be forced to close putting jobs at risk.

Restrictions to be lifted

The Scottish government has now confirmed that these restrictions will be lifted from 22 July, however, betting shops will still be required to follow strict coronavirus measures such as the use of screens, hand sanitisers and social distancing measures.

BGC chief executive Michael Dugher said: “This is great news for Scotland’s 900 betting shops and the 4,500 hard-working staff that they employ.

“We have always said that the extra restrictions imposed on Scottish betting shops were unnecessary. We are delighted that the Scottish Government has listened and responded.

“Betting shops in Scotland can now look forward to playing their part in helping to kickstart the economy, supporting Scottish racing and providing a safe environment for customers who enjoy a flutter.”

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