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BGC urges UK government to reopen casinos after latest snub

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has urged UK government ministers to reopen casinos in July, reiterating it is now safe to do so.

BGC

Last week, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced new coronavirus lockdown easing measures with the reopening of hospitality venues such as pubs, restaurants, cinemas and theatres in England from 4 July, but that casinos would remain closed.

Other areas of the gambling industry have started to reopen, with betting shops resuming operations on 15 June, while bingo halls have been given the go ahead to reopen in July.

The BGC has been particularly vocal about casinos remaining closed, and now CEO Michael Dugher has said it is clear venues have “pulled out all the stops,” after visiting London’s Rialto Casino.

The industry standards body said the snub was despite the 120 UK casinos introducing strict health and safety measures ready to reopen its doors, including ensuring sanitisation of seating and table areas.

Also customers would be limited to play at one table, sanitising their hands before and after, with face coverings available to customers on request.

Dugher added: “We were obviously disappointed by the Government’s decision not to let casinos reopen again on 4 July, but I would urge ministers to look at the anti-Covid measures casinos have introduced, reconsider the decision to keep them closed and let casinos open their doors safely later in July.

“In this time of great economic uncertainty, the contribution that casinos make to the nation’s finances cannot be under-estimated.”

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