BGC Calls for Casinos to Open in Scotland

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The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) in Scotland has asked the government to allow casinos to reopen, citing a report by Dr. Lisa Ackerley stating that there is “no logical or scientific reason” to treat casinos and restaurants differently.

BGC Asks the Government for Fair Treatment

A report by hygiene expert Dr. Lisa Ackerley has examined hospitality facilities in Edinburgh and Glasgow, including casinos. She conducted an independent study of the Grosvenor gambling premises and based her report on their anti-COVID measures. It states that gaming facilities are safer than other facilities in the hospitality industry. Casinos would reopen on May 17 in England along with restaurants and pubs, but in Scotland, they can only open under Level 3 and casinos under Level 2.

BGC chief executive Michael Dugher stated that harming the casino industry is unnecessary. He said that this measure would impact 700 employees in the industry.

Managing director of Grosvenor Casinos, Jonathon Swaine, said that Dr. Ackerley provides accurate scientific evidence not to treat casinos differently. He also called for the government to reconsider its reopening plans.

According to Ackerley, there is no reason for the casinos to remain closed while restaurants and pubs reopen in Scotland.

Scottish Government Didn’t Visit the BGC’s Casinos

Although there were invitations by BGC members for government officials to visit the gaming facilities and see the anti-COVID measures in place. Last year, BGC argued that casinos could protect staff members and consumers and continue contributing to the economy. Many of its members fear that the industry would never recover from the pandemic.

BGC chief executive Michael Dugher also stated that the government hasn’t visited gambling facilities and doesn’t know how the facilities work and what measures they have taken. He referred to Dr. Ackerley’s report when arguing the case that gaming premises could be even safer than other facilities. He asked why they are receiving different treatment. Dugher said that it is not too late for the government to follow England’s example.

Swaine interjected that the measures to keep gambling facilities closed until the regions reach Level 2, while restaurants can open at Level 3 are absurd. He further stated that they are appealing to the First Minister and the Scottish Government for fair treatment.

Casinos Could Turn Out to Be Safer Than Other Facilities

According to Ackerley gambling facilities should re-open along with other hospitality facilities. Ackerley said that there is no scientific or logical explanation to treat the gambling industry differently since its measures are even more focused on consumer protection than in other hospitality segments.

Casinos have implemented strong safety measures for their customers and staff. In her opinion, gambling venues could turn out to be even safer than other facilities in the hospitality industry.

Last July, BGC criticized the government’s draconian measures affecting betting shops. The council stated that these measures are harmful to the industry as a whole.

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