UK government eases lockdown restrictions on casinos and bingo halls

Casinos and bingo halls in the UK have been allowed to reopen as part of the government’s continued easing of COVID-19 lockdown measures.

Such venues had been closed in the country since a third national lockdown was implemented in January.

Betting shops have contrastingly been open for a while, though all venues still need to adhere to restrictions.

On the way back again

The government chose to reopen casinos and bingo halls as part of its latest measures, despite worries about a new variant of the virus from India.

Besides casinos and bingo halls, restaurants and bars have also been able to open their indoor facilities. Moreover, cinemas and hotels are allowed to welcome back customers.

Sports stadiums are also allowed to reopen. Some events have already begun welcoming back supporters, including last weekend’s FA Cup final in which Leicester beat Chelsea 1-0.

Restrictions still in place

Despite reopening, bingo halls and casinos in the UK will still need to adhere to certain coronavirus-related restrictions. Face masks are obligatory indoors, while social distancing measures remain in place. Venues must also stay in line with capacity limits.

Casinos and bingo halls are also now allowed to reopen in Scotland. However, they are still not permitted to serve alcohol – as was the case for much of last year when they reopened from the first lockdown.

Venues in Scotland are also obliged to shut their doors at 10:30pm every evening throughout the week. Casinos in Glasgow are also not allowed to open for the time being, due to a rise in local cases.

Although betting shops need to adhere to restrictions too, some of those have been lifted from today. Though face masks and social distancing are still mandatory, shops are allowed to show live sporting events on their televisions.

A “fantastic boost”

Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), commented on the reopening of casinos and bingo halls in the UK. He had the following to say.

“It’s great news that most of the UK’s casinos are finally able to re-open – and is a testament to the hard work that staff have put in making them Covid-secure.

“As well as providing excellent entertainment for their customers, casinos are a major contributor to the UK economy, something which will be vital in the months ahead as the government tries to repair the damage done to the nation’s finances by COVID-19.”

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