With the UK taking the next step of resuming business, GVC Holdings has announced plans to restart all Ladbrokes and Coral betting shops in the country.
Ladbrokes and Coral Properties to Open En Masse Next Week
GVC Holdings has revealed official plans to reopen all betting shops owned under the Ladbrokes and Coral brands. This will see 2,445 across the United Kingdom open doors on June 15 in accordance with a government order to restart all non-essential businesses.
All land-based non-essential businesses were suspended earlier this year in March when the UK imposed a nationwide lockdown in a bid to tackle the spread of the COVID-19 outbreak. Before any business can reopen, the property would need to prove that it complies with health codes and can guarantee the safety of both staff and patrons.
All shops will be subject to frequent, daily checks that will determine if the property can operate. There will be inspections into details such as cleaning screens, bet stations, and any gaming machines.
GVC will uphold the highest health standards in the circumstances, complying with government and health authorities-issued recommendations, and using special support tools to introduce social distancing. The company will install glass barriers at cashier points as well as place floor markings to help everyone comply.
The company is already in the process of training staff about the new measures that must be upheld for business to restart. Meanwhile, the lockdown period has seen many calls for introducing tougher measures to protect vulnerable players. Statistics have shown that UK gambling has increased a bit, but the level of vulnerable or addicted players has remained unchanged.
For its part, GVC Holdings has a spotless track record for complying with government authorities and the Gambling Commission. In May, the UKGC introduced additional guidance to gambling companies on how to assist and protect vulnerable players, which GVC welcomed.
Social Distancing and Frequent Disinfection
To minimize contact, GVC will also introduce stylus at gaming machines so that players can avoid interacting with the surfaces. There will be hand sanitizer stations, hand wash and other cleaning products available on site in each betting shop.
Employees will have to comply with government measures and wear face masks as well as disposable gloves, protective shields amid new cleaning standards and benchmarks. GVC is still planning on what occupancy rate the company can allow, but this will most likely be decided based on the unique specifics of each venue.
GVC has confirmed that safe and responsible gambling will remain a top priority for the company as they have always been. The current situation will not distract employees from monitoring customer behavior and assisting individuals who may be experiencing or showing signs of irresponsible gambling behavior.
Vulnerable players will be assisted and self-excluded patrons will not be allowed to participate in any form of betting or gaming. Kenny Alexander, GVC CEO, has said that the company was pleased with the opportunity to restart business. He further had this to add:
“Ever since the lockdown was introduced, we have been working tirelessly on a plan which will deliver the safest possible environment for both our customers and our people. I am confident we have achieved that and look forward to welcoming our customers back in the near future.”
Betting shops are ahead of British casinos which won’t reopen until July 4. Michael Dugher, BGC secretary-general, has said that seeing betting shops reopen in June is great news. Meanwhile, businesses in the United States have restarted, with Las Vegas making a re-entry last week and Pennsylvania opening up two properties today.