BGC urges UK Government to do more to protect retail gambling industry

By Owain Flanders

Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) chairman, Brigid Simmonds OBE, has urged the UK Government to do more to support high-street bookmakers and casinos which have been permitted to reopen following the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Casinos were permitted to reopen in England from 15 August - a decision welcomed by the BGC as “belated good news.” Scottish and Welsh casinos were permitted to reopen from 24 August and 29 August, respectively.

Despite this, Simmonds has warned that high-street gambling will only survive with the assistance of the Government.

She said: “I’m glad to say that betting shops and casinos across the UK have now opened their doors again, but the latest footfall data shows that visitors to our main shopping thoroughfares are still less than a quarter of pre-pandemic levels.

“With the UK economy officially in recession, it is absolutely vital that our politicians leave no stone unturned in their attempts to save the high street, because they are vital community hubs as well as major contributors to the Treasury.”

Simmonds has urged the Communities and Local Government Select Commitee, which has been conducting an inquiry into the support of UK high streets, to be “hard hitting and courageous” in its recommendations.


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