Gauselmann Founder Slams British Govt Over Reopening Roadmap

The Gauselmann Group’s founder and CEO, Paul Gauselmann, has slammed the British government for excluding adult gaming centres from the list of non-essential retail facilities that will reopen on April 12th.

As part of the country’s roadmap out of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) lockout, Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared last month that English betting shops, along with other non-essential retail, will be able to reopen operations.

Adult gaming facilities, including casinos and bingo halls, will not be able to reopen until the next level of the roadmap, which starts on May 17 and eases a variety of other Covid-19 limitations.

Opposition to proposals

Gauselmann  has written to the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, and the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy Kwasi Kwarteng to express his opposition to the proposals.

Gauselmann called for a rethink of the move, expressing his “disappointment and regret” that adult gaming centres won’t be able to reopen next month alongside other non-essential retail, claiming the two venues are close in scale and customer turnover.

Via its Merkur subsidiary, the Gauselmann Group owns the Cashino chain of adult gaming centres in the United Kingdom. There are 174 Cashino outlets in the United States.

Gauselmann said: “Our venues attract comparably small numbers of customers who do not stay for long. For this reason, we cannot understand the decision which permits betting shops to open even though they operate the same gaming machines. 

“This puts us at a great competitive disadvantage and we fear a long-term loss of loyal customers as a result.”

Jeopardise any proposed potential investment

Any more delay in reopening, according to Gauselmann, could jeopardise any proposed potential investment by the Gauselmann Group.

“I am very concerned about the stress this recent decision places on our business and whether we can continue to invest as we had planned,” Gauselmann said.

“We appreciate the government has to make very difficult decisions, but cannot see why, in terms of infection protection, entirely unproblematic businesses should be prevented from opening.”