October 23, 2020 3 min read


Casino Closures Grossly Unfair, Targeting the Industry

The decision to close down casinos and other land-based gaming facilities in the areas under Tier 3 restrictions in the UK is grossly unfair and a targeted attack at the industry, a casino managing director vented his frustration ahead of the new business closures.

Effective Saturday, all betting shops, casinos and adult gaming centers in South Yorkshire and Greater Manchester area will have to close due to the new set of restrictions imposed on the regions in an attempt to flatten the virus curve.

Casino Closures Senseless

Jonathon Swaine, managing director of Rank Group, the operator of one of the biggest casino chains in the UK, Grosvenor, hit out of frustration at the Government’s “senseless” decision to impose new closures for the brick-and-mortar gaming venues.

“At first we thought that the decisions being made were arbitrary but it’s now clear that our casinos are being subjected to an aggressive and needless attack by decision makers who clearly understand nothing of just how safe casinos are and appear determined to damage the land-based betting and gaming industry for the sake of it.”

Jonathon Swaine, Managing Director, Rank Group

The managing director of Grosvenor Casinos and Mecca Bingo went even further to label the decision an attack on the betting and gaming industry. As pubs are allowed to remain open and serve alcohol as long as they also offer meal, gaming establishments seem to be the only one ordered to shut up shop.

“It’s a targeted attack on betting and gaming premises, the tens of thousands of employees and customers in this sector and the time has come to call it out for what it is.”

Jonathon Swaine, Managing Director, Rank Group

Jonathon Swaine could not understand why the Government forced casinos to close down when there is no single shred of evidence that casinos facilitate the further spread of the virus. Moreover, casinos have implemented all guidelines in terms of health and safety for their employees and guests, yet have the rug pulled under their feet.

Casinos Compromise Offer Not Enough

Casinos even offered to close their bars as drinking looks like the most likely activity to facilitate the transmission of the virus due to people mingling, but are still being ordered to shut down operations entirely. At least Mecca Bingo will remain open, a spokesperson for Rank Group confirmed.

The stricter restrictions under Tier 3 will be enforced Saturday and will not be removed for at least 28 days, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Robert Jenrick informed the public Wednesday. The casino closures put at risk a huge number of jobs, supported by the industry, which also pays up to 50% tax rates to the Exchequer.

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