The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be an issue worldwide, hitting the gambling industry particularly hard. In the UK, London casinos are preparing to close again after a rise in coronavirus cases. In Scotland, the spread of the virus has decreased, allowing betting shops to reopen.
in high impact areas, the restrictions are harsher
Casino and betting shop restrictions continue to change in various countries based on the ebbs and flows of the pandemic. In areas like Scotland where case counts are dropping, officials feel comfortable easing restrictions. However, in high-impact areas, the restrictions are harsher in order to help decrease the number of positive cases.
London casinos to close December 16
Many entertainment venues in London must close starting tomorrow, including casinos. London is currently at the Tier 3 level of the country’s pandemic restrictions, the highest level on the England’s scale. In addition to the Greater London area, health officials have placed portions of Hertfordshire and Essex in Tier 3.
Casinos and bingo halls must close entirely because of the level’s restrictions.
London soccer clubs just started allowing fans to attend matches on December 2, the first time fans could attend since March. The new order prohibits fans from going to games for now.
London’s new shutdown order comes just a short time after casinos were allowed to reopen at the beginning of December. On November 5, officials instituted a new four-week lockdown across England which ended on December 2.
Scotland betting shops reopen
After closing in November, betting shops in Scotland are now up and running once again. Around 400 betting shops in eleven local authority areas are back in business after shutting down because of Level 4 restrictions.
2,000 employees are back on the job
These areas’ restrictions were downgraded to Level 3, allowing high street shops to reopen. Around 2,000 employees are back on the job and funds will start coming in to support the both Treasury and the horse racing industry.
The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) is encouraging the Scottish Government to allow casinos in Level 3 to reopen, as well. The BGC has pointed out that strict anti-COVID measures are in place to protect employees and patrons. There is also no evidence, according to the BGC, to suggest that the casinos are spreading the virus.
Chief executive of the BGC, Michael Dugher, stated that several measures are in place for betting shops to provide a safe environment. Hand sanitizer is plentiful and social distancing rules are in place. Venues installed Perspex screens to help with social distancing needs.
“It’s great news for staff and customers that betting shops can open their doors again,” he said.
Dugher pointed out that casinos have taken the same anti-COVID precautions so they can reopen safely. Dugher stated further that the betting shops and casinos are vital to the UK’s economic recovery.