Over the course of the pandemic, few segments of the gambling industry have been hit harder than retail betting shops and land-based casinos. During the complete shutdown they weren’t able to host any players and are operating at a very limited capacity when they are allowed to open their doors. But that’s all about to change in England and Wales and the gaming trade group, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) couldn’t be happier about the situation.
In a recent posting from the group, Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council celebrated UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s move to reopen retail betting shops during the next phase of reopening saying, “It’s great news that high street betting shops in England and Wales are finally able to re-open safely, along with the rest of non-essential retail. It’s been a long three months for betting shop staff, as well as their customers, and I know they are all looking forward to safely getting back to business thanks to the best-in-class anti-Covid measures in place.”
Some restrictions, however, remain in place for betting shops as they race to reopen. For the time being they’ll be operating at limited capacity, and won’t be able to screen live sporting events – among other restrictions.
Regardless, Dugher says the moves towards reopening are all good because they protect endangered gaming industry jobs and help boost the economy. “As the recent EY report showed, the UK’s betting shops support 46,000 jobs and paid nearly £1bn in tax to the Treasury in 2020, while our members contribute £350m to horseracing through sponsorship, media rights and the betting levy.
“This means that as well as providing a much-needed boost for the millions of people who enjoy a flutter, they will also be able to play a key role in the UK’s post-Covid economic recovery,” he added.