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The Scottish Government has been chastised by the Betting and Gaming Council for its “refusal to let casinos reopen with the rest of Scotland’s hospitality sector,” according to the standards agency.
BGC chief executive Michael Dugher wrote to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, saying the “baffling” decision had placed the 700 men and women who work for the company in jeopardy.
Catagory one regions
Casinos would only be able to reopen in category one regions under new regulation, although other entertainment venues such as bars and restaurants would be allowed to do so in level two locations.
Dugher claims that there is no scientific justification for “singling out” casinos, citing a survey by Dr. Lisa Ackerley that found casinos to be “as secure, if not safer” than other hospitality locations.
Hospitality venues, such as bars and restaurants, will be able to reopen on April 26, while gaming facilities will likely be able to reopen in “early June,” according to the BGC.
Dugher wrote to Sturgeon in a letter that stated: “The singling out of casino businesses within the hospitality sector for not being able to open in level two areas, alongside the rest of their peer group, is baffling and, on an evidence-based approach, without justification.
“Our casino members in Scotland are at a complete loss as to understand the decision not to allow them to reopen alongside venues such as pubs, restaurants, cinemas, bingo halls and high street arcades. Please can you explain the scientific basis of this decision?”
‘Heed compelling evidence’
He continued: “I appeal to you to pay heed to the compelling evidence. When parts of the country return to level 2 status, casinos should be allowed to open alongside other hospitality venues.
“These businesses deserve to be treated with parity and fairness. All they expect is an equitable approach to hospitality, based on the highest quality evidence that exists.
“Ordering the continued closure of casinos in level two areas in Scotland would be a needless blow for the 700 hardworking men and women that they employ, as well as economically self-harming, given the £30m in tax they pay per year in normal times.”