Casinos in England to stay shut until at least 15 August after reopening delayed

By Iqbal Johal

Casinos in England are to stay closed after the UK government postponed the further easing of certain coronavirus lockdown measures.

The country’s casinos were meant to open from 1 August, after the government announced certain restrictions being lifted, which would have also seen bowling alleys and indoor theatres reopen.

However, the reopening of such venues including casinos has been postponed until at least 15 August, following a government rethink after a spike in virus cases led to new restrictions in parts of northern England.

Trials to allow some fans to attend select sporting events will also not now take place.

At a Downing Street press conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was time to “squeeze the brake pedal” stating that “the prevalence of the virus in the community, in England, is likely to be rising for the first time since May.”

Responding on Twitter, Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) CEO Michael Dugher said: “There is no evidence that casinos are “higher risk” venues and what happened to the government’s local lockdown strategy?

“Why should a casino business remain closed in Bristol in the south west, where COVID-19 is low, because there’s a spike in greater Manchester? Big threat to jobs.”

Casinos have been closed in England, and the rest of the UK, since mid-March. On Thursday, Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon provisionally set 24 August as the reopening date for casinos in the country.

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