In an effort to stop what are termed ‘catastrophic closures’ that could lead to thousands of job losses, casinos have suggested an alcohol ban.
This comes in the midst of news that the Betting and Gaming Council’s chief executive, Michael Dugher, has now written to every MP asking them to lobby the government to allow the gaming venues to remain open.
The BGC ‘s latest appeal comes as UK media outlets claim that Prime Minister Boris Johnson is set to announce a new three-tier local lockdown structure that could order hospitality companies in particular regions to close for weeks in an effort to lower infection rates.
This follows the closing of hospitality venues, including casinos, throughout the central belt of Scotland, which includes Glasgow and Edinburgh, announced by Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.
In England and Wales, establishments have said that a similar change south of the border will be devastating for a sector that they believe is still recovering from the consequences of the first lockdown earlier this year.
As casinos aim to ensure that they are excluded from the list of companies ordered to close, the new move is called “a last-ditch attempt to avoid closure.”
Dugher explained: “Casinos have already proved, thanks to their world class track and trace systems, the use of Perspex screens, hand sanitisers and strict social distancing rules, that they are COVID-secure according to Public Health England.
“There are relatively few casinos, we know that their impact on COVID is negligible and they have in fact operated perfectly safely since re-opening in August. There are no public health grounds to order their closure now.
“Ministers need to understand that casinos are not pseudo-nightclubs or places where young people go to drink. Nevertheless, they are willing to reduce their risk levels even further by refusing to serve alcohol, which the government seems to think is another factor in the spread of the virus.
“In light of all of this, I would urge ministers to be reasonable and allow casinos to remain safely open and continue to play their part in raising desperately-needed tax revenues for the Treasury, whilst also stopping the spread of the coronavirus.”