UK casino, already seriously affected by the initial blocking of COVID-19, which touched on many enterprises of the gaming and hotel industry, offered to stop selling alcohol in their establishments in an attempt to avoid re-closing. Since another closure of the industry will have catastrophic consequences and can lead to the loss of thousands of workers.
In British casinos, there are a total of about fourteen thousand employees, and only over the past three years, they collected 1.3 billion pounds of sterling for the treasury, and casino bosses are concerned about the damage that other closures can apply. If the casino will finish closing their doors again, not only the staff will potentially lose work, but also enterprises can be forced to close forever.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is ready to announce a new coronavirus lockdown package starting next week, which is expected to lead to a new three-tier local lockdown system. This means that hotel companies such as casinos, many of which are top brands on the main street, such as Genting and Grosvenor, could be completely closed for many weeks as part of reducing Covid-19 infection rates.
The proposal to ban alcohol comes after Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon, announced the closure of hospitality facilities in major cities such as Glasgow and Edinburgh. Many casinos in England and Wales are still suffering from the effects of the coronavirus closure, and executives talk about how disastrous the move could be for the sector. According to reports, casino revenues have dropped by as much as 70% compared to the same period last year, as they only resumed operations in August 2020.
Michael Douger, Executive Director of the Betting and Gambling Council, spoke about the proposal and how important it is for the industry to keep the venues open:
“Casinos have already proven, with their world-class tracking systems, Perspex screens, hand sanitizers and strict social distancing guidelines, that they are protected from the Covid virus as recommended by the UK Department of Health. The casinos have actually operated completely securely since reopening in August. There is currently no reason to close them. Ministers must understand that casinos are not pseudo nightclubs or places where young people go to drink. However, they are willing to further reduce their risk by refusing to serve alcohol, which the government sees as another factor in the spread of the virus. In light of all this, I would urge ministers to be smart and allow casinos to stay safe and continue to play their part in collecting much-needed tax revenues for the Treasury while stopping the spread of the coronavirus. “