The scheduled reopening of casinos in the UK on August 1 has been postponed for at least another two weeks. This move comes in the wake of the UK government tightening restrictions in most parts of Northern England. In the UK, casinos have remained closed since March 23, and this postponement comes as a result of increased outbreaks of the Corona Virus in parts of East Lancashire, Great Manchester, and West Yorkshire. The Betting and Gaming Council in the UK believes that this decision is a blow to the legal online gambling industry and that it may never recover. It also warns that up to six thousand jobs may be permanently lost. This means that approximately half the number supported by the sector.
Reasons Why Casinos Reopening Was Postponed
- Casinos are considered as high-risk places – According to the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, casinos are categorized as “higher risk” settings regarding the Coronavirus. This is a result of people running the risk of contracting and spreading the virus due to gathering in social places, including the casinos.
- To avoid total lockdown – Part of the reasons why the UK government decided to postpone the reopening of casinos is because the casinos are likely to aid in the spread of the virus, which might then force the government to lock down the entire country. This, in turn, can harm the overall economy of the UK.
- Increase in the number of Coronavirus cases – The postponement also comes as a result of increased cases of the Coronavirus recently reported in parts of West Yorkshire, Manchester, and East Lancashire. This move will give the UK government enough time to re-evaluate if the cases will continue to rise or if they will come down before deciding whether to reopen the casinos.
- Prevent health facilities from being overwhelmed – As a result of reducing the spread of the Coronavirus due to this postponement, and the UK government will have protected the health sector from being overwhelmed with patients increasingly getting admitted as a result of the virus.
Betting and Gaming Council about the Recent Updates
The Betting and Gaming Council has not welcomed the news regarding the postponement of opening casinos in the UK. This is because the council feels that there is no concrete evidence that shows casinos are higher risk venues, and it has also criticized the ongoing closures nationwide. According to Michael Dugher, the CEO of the Betting and Gaming Council, this update has dealt a huge blow to the casino industry, which has remained closed for nearly five months. He claimed that casinos are a fundamental part of the entertainment, hospitality, leisure, and tourism sectors in the UK. They employ over 14,000 people and indirectly supports another over 4,000 jobs in the UK. The council warns that these changes are likely to lead to the loss of over 6,000 jobs across the UK.
It also believes that the recent update is inconsistent, highly illogical, and damaging to the casino businesses and the thousands of people they employ. Most of the casinos had spent a lot of time and money preparing to reopen the casinos on August 1. The industry suffers losses up to £5 million for every week it remains closed. The council has expressed its frustration regarding the changes since the industry had already spent millions of pounds to make sure that their premises are secure by putting in place measures such as sanitization equipment, Perspex screens, and sophisticated track and trace systems.
What Prognosis Are Different Casinos Making?
These changes have forced most casinos to consider other means that will help them stay in business. To bring down the cost of operation, most of the casinos are considering closing some of their outlets. This will also mean that most people risk losing their jobs as a result of these changes. Some of the casinos are also considering relocating their services to other countries that do not have strict guidelines resulting from the Coronavirus.
It is also highly likely that many casinos will take advantage of the online space, which does not tend to have many restrictions when it comes to dealing with the Coronavirus. Online casinos are quickly becoming popular among casino lovers. They allow them to play their favorite casino games without having to go out and run the risks of exposing themselves to the virus. It is now evident that a lot is going to change in the coming days regarding how casinos carry out their operations.
Casinos Have to Adapt to the New Standards
The current pandemic has brought a lot of challenges to nearly all sectors of the economy, gambling included. Therefore, it has become evident that for any sector to ensure it stays relevant in the coming days, then it has to adapt to the new environment and find means of surviving. This is the time when most sectors have moved their operations online to ensure that they do not lose touch with their clients.
Casinos are also required to observe very high standards of hygiene to help in curbing the Coronavirus and also get a chance to change the negative perspective that most people have about the industry.