Industry analyst: UK casino reopening delay a “blessing in disguise”

By Iqbal Johal

The continued delay of reopening casinos in the UK is a “blessing in disguise”, according to a gambling industry analyst.

With the coronavirus pandemic forcing casinos shut in late-March, venues in England were meant to open from 1 August, but a day before on 31 July, the UK Government reversed its decision to ease certain lockdown restrictions, keeping several businesses in the hospitality industry closed.

Casinos in England are not allowed to resume operations until at least 15 August, with further delays expected.

While the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) warned the sector “may never recover” from these delays, industry analyst and SpringOwl Asset Management CEO Jason Ader has a different view.

Speaking to Gambling Insider, Ader said: “Personally, I think the UK casinos not reopening as scheduled on 1 August is a blessing in disguise.

“As a casino owner, what’s the rush to open just to lose money? I know everyone wants to get back to casinos but in perspective of the owners, they’re going to be writing cheques every month to cover losses.”

With measures in place at reopened casinos worldwide including Perspex screens, one-way systems and social distancing, Ader believes these constraints will make it difficult for the sector to recover any time soon.

Ader said: “The question is what can be done to return to profitability and the only thing that can be done is for casinos to operate the way they were, otherwise the constraints on profitability will be quite severe.

“I think casinos will be lucky to break even over the next 12 to 18 months, but more likely they’re going to lose.

“I definitely think they’ll be a recovery, it’s just going to take time which is the key. 2022 has the potential to be a more normalised year.”


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