Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon announced plans for the reopening of bingos and casinos on August 24. On the same day, the government plans to allow betting shops to switch their gaming machines back on. BGC CEO Michael Dugher pleased with the announcement.
Scotland’s First Minister Announced the Plan to Reopen Bingos and Casinos in August
Earlier this week, on Thursday, July 30, Nicola Sturgeon, First Minister in Scotland announced that bingos and casinos may reopen on August 24. According to Sturgeon, this is not a firm date as the government may decide to change plans in the event of COVID-19 spikes in Scotland. However, if the country continues to suppress the virus, casinos and bingo halls will be allowed to reopen their doors on August 24. All those venues will have to implement strict health and safety measures for safe post-COVID-19 operations.
With that in mind, Scotland is currently at phase three out of the four-phased plan for easing of COVID-19 restrictions. Similar to England, Scotland introduced those restrictions in an effort to flatten the curve of spread of the respiratory disease COVID-19. In light of this, back in mid-March, all gambling venues in the UK were ordered to shut their doors.
Given that no spikes of positive COVID-19 cases are observed in the upcoming weeks, some 800 employees of the country’s 11 casinos will be able to return back to work. Besides the reopening of those venues, the betting shops in Scotland will be allowed to turn on their gaming machines on August 24 as well.
The Scottish Government Plan Met Kindly by the BGC
Back in the beginning of July, the BGC criticized the Scottish Government because of the additional restrictions applied to betting shops. The Council said that such restrictions can prove to be harmful for the industry. Furthermore, BGC CEO Michael Dugher deemed the measures as “draconian” and urged for the removal, “before it’s too late.“
Now, in light of the recent announcement, Dugher said: “We are delighted that casinos and bingo halls in Scotland have finally been given a date to re-open.” The BGC CEO continued by outlining that the venues have committed to ensuring the safety of employees and visitors. In addition, Dugher said that it is good news that the Scottish Government has seen the efforts of the casino industry. He did not miss to say that the BGC is pleased with the Scottish Government’s decision to switch on the gaming machines in the betting shops. In conclusion, Dugher said that it is great that the gaming machines will be back from August 24.
Elsewhere in the UK, the planned casino reopening from today in England, 1 was delayed with 2 weeks. Yesterday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the easing of restrictions in the country will be delayed for at least two weeks. Besides casinos, this delay also affects ice rinks and bowling halls.
Commenting on the subject, Dugher called the move “fiasco” which represents the heavy hit on the casino industry. He outlined that the casino industry employs 14,000 people and also supports additional 4,000 jobs in the UK. Dugher added that operators have been preparing for the reopening which resulted in millions of pounds spent.