London casinos propose 10pm bar curfew

By Owain Flanders

Casinos in London have offered to close their bars at 10pm in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 while remaining open-for-business.

Last week, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) warned that “thousands of jobs in the UK’s casinos sector would be lost” if the UK Government introduced a 10pm curfew for businesses which is currently being considered by MPs.

In a letter to UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden, BGC CEO Michael Dugher and Genting UK CEO Paul Wilcock argued that such a measure would “devastate” casinos.

The letter explained that the majority of casino trade was conducted after 10pm, making the curfew extremely detrimental for an already struggling industry.

Despite this, according to the BGC, London Mayor Sadiq Khan is still thought to be in favour of the curfew.

In response, the bosses of London’s 26 casinos have written a letter to Khan putting forward their case in opposition of the measure. The CEOs of the Hippodrome, the Grosvenor, Caesars and the Clermont Club are among the executives behind the letter.

Stressing the severe economic impact of a full property closure, the executives have proposed voluntarily stopping selling alcohol after 10pm to reduce fears that large groups could congregate to drink.

“By all means address the core issue of drinking rather than slamming a blanket curfew on our venues which would do nothing to suppress the spread of the virus but which would simply sound the death knell for jobs and for famous London casinos,” the letter reads.


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