There was relief for the 900 betting shops in Scotland after the Scottish government announced it would lift its in-store limits, which created chaos with reopening plans.
On 29 June Scottish bookmakers were permitted to re-open their companies, beginning their recovery from lockdown. Last-minute orders from the SNP forced shops to withdraw seating in-store, as well as turn-off machines and all live sports broadcasts.
The SNP reported that its orders were given “to avoid clusters of people gathering to watch live sport.”
The actions saw the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) launch an immediate campaign calling for the Holyrood to overturn its ‘draconian orders’ – arguing that the SNP had directly put the jobs of the 4,500 workforce of Scottish betting at risk.
Monitoring Scottish incumbents, the BGC wrote in a letter to Parliament that turnover in some shops had fallen by 95 percent as customers either stayed away or crossed the border to England for betting.
In addition, the BGC released a personal statement by Scotsbet Selkirk shop manager Andy Bennett, describing the dire effects of SNP orders on his company and its future recovery.
BGC chief executive Michael Dugher said in response to developments: “This is great news for Scotland’s 900 betting shops and the 4,500 hardworking staff that they employ.
“We have always said that the extra restrictions imposed on Scottish betting shops were unnecessary. We are delighted that the Scottish Government has listened and responded.
“Betting shops in Scotland can now look forward to playing their part in helping to kickstart the economy, supporting Scottish racing and providing a safe environment for customers who enjoy a flutter.”