Welcoming the reopening of betting shops and casinos across Wales, the Betting and Gaming Council has urged the UK government to follow suit when its own lockout ends on December 2.
With a fresh collection of restrictions coming into effect, Wales’ 17-day firebreak lockout has ended. This means that four casinos will re-open for business and 360 bookmakers, which in turn guarantees that 2,000 workers can return to work safely.
The standards body endorsed the Welsh government’s science-led strategy, which accepted the robust anti-COVID steps adopted by the venues and the lack of any evidence that had contributed to the spread of the virus.
In England, as part of the national lockdown, all casinos and betting outlets are currently closed. However, English bookies were considered hospitality venues before this new shutdown, meaning those in Tier 3 areas had to shut down despite the government officially classifying them as’ non-essential retail.’
Despite introducing a range of anti-COVID steps, including perspex screens, track and trace systems and strict social distancing, casinos in England were also forced to close their doors at 10 pm.
BGC chief executive, Michael Dugher, explained: “The decision to re-open betting shops and casinos across Wales is hugely welcome and demonstrates the confidence of the Welsh government in the safety measures they have in place.
“It means 2,000 staff will now get back to work and our members can get back to serving their customers.
“We are now urging the UK Government to also recognise the lengths to which betting shops and casinos have gone to make sure they are COVID-secure and, when the English lockdown ends, allow them to safely re-open from day one.”