London casinos may close bars due to new Covid-19 curfew

In a letter to the Mayor of London, the bosses of the metropolitan casinos said that their establishments could stop selling alcohol after 22:00, thereby eliminating fears that large groups might get together for a drink. The move comes after the announcement that the central government and local authorities in the UK are considering imposing a 22:00 curfew for casinos and other businesses in an attempt to combat COVID-19.

In a letter to Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, the bosses of 26 land-based casinos, including the Hippodrome, Grosvenor, Caesars and the Clermont Club, offered to close their bars if the capital plans to impose a curfew for all casinos due to Covid, as such a stop can lead to the loss of a large number of jobs.

London casino executives noted that senior public health officials, including Deputy Chief Physician Professor Jonathan Van Tam, gave casinos permission last month to safely open their doors after they saw anti-Covid measures that had been put in place. These include plexiglass screens, hand sanitizing stations, strict social distancing and best-in-class tracking systems.

Casino bosses also highlight the serious economic implications of having to close their doors after 10 p.m. In total, the sites employ around 14,000 people across the UK and have paid £ 1.3bn to the treasury over the past three years.

The letter says:

“If London is imposed a curfew at 22:00, most of our casinos will become unviable, and some will inevitably close with the loss of hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs in the capital.”

Instead, executives say their establishments may stop selling alcohol after 10:00 p.m., thereby removing fears that large groups might get together for a drink. Closing bars rather than all casinos would have a more limited impact on casino revenues, protect jobs, preserve the casino’s future, and save tax revenues for the treasury.

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