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Casinos in England to reopen

Casinos will be allowed to reopen in England from Saturday, August 15 as the UK Government resumes its easing of lockdown restrictions.

Casinos were set to reopen on August 1 in England, along with bowling alleys and ice skating rinks, which are now also allowed to open, but the lifting of restrictions was put on hold for two weeks amid a spike in coronavirus cases at the time.

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) said the announcement is “belated good news” and a “welcome relief” for the 12,000 employees working in the sector, but it added difficult times lie ahead for the industry after land-based casinos lost substantial amounts of money after five months of closure. “We regret that it has taken so long for staff to return to work – long after all manner of venues and activities, that don’t have anything like the anti-covid measures you will see in any casino, were reopened,” said Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the BGC.

“Casinos are not yet out of the woods though. The last five months has left many casinos on the brink and the next few months will be particularly crucial to their recovery as the tourism, leisure and hospitality sector slowly gets back on its feet. This sector can play an important part in our national economic recovery and I hope ministers will continue to work closely with the industry to provide support through this difficult period. In return, casinos will continue to play their part in helping to revive our city centres and nighttime economy, as well as supporting the country through the £1 billion economic contribution it makes in direct and indirect Gross Value Added,” Dugher added