About a month ago we reported that English casinos are set to reopen on the 1st of August but then it was decided for them to remain closed for a while longer. English casinos were finally reopened on the 15th of August, whereas Scotland and Wales decided to wait for a while longer.
Casinos in Scotland have finally been reopened today, whereas Welsh casino players will have to wait a bit longer, as casinos in Wales are set to reopen on the 29th of August. Casinos in both Wales and Scotland have been closed for over five months since lockdowns began in March.
Scottish casinos are opening today
Despite the fact that casinos will reopen, Scotland will remain in lockdown, in Phase 3 according to the lockdown plan that was laid out by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon earlier this year. In addition to casinos, bingo halls, pool halls, as well as arcades are also opening today. Of course, casinos as well as other establishments will still have to operate under strict safety measures.
As we mentioned this opening follows the reopening of English casinos from earlier this month. The UK land-based casino industry is a large sector, there are about 125 venues and they employ a total of 14,000 people. What’s more important, the industry’s contribution in tax revenue comes to about £300 million per year.
Scotland’s First Minister advised caution, stating that while the situation in the country is stable and the level of prevalence of the new virus is low, there are still more positive cases compared to three weeks ago. She added that the reopening of businesses will be welcomed as it is in line with the plan for reducing the economic harm, while stressing that everyone must act responsibly and upheld the highest security standards.
Scotland has already passed legislation that allows local authorities to react when there’s a breach of guidelines and the police also has powers to disperse indoor gatherings. The Betting and Gaming Council expressed its satisfaction with the decision, as about 800 employees will finally be able to return to work.
Casinos in Wales set to open this Saturday
Wales will be last of the three nations to reopen their casinos, as we mentioned on the 29th of August. Welsh casino industry is the smallest of the three, it employs about 400 people. All casinos in Wales, much like the casinos elsewhere in the country have been closed since the lockdowns began back in March.
There are four casino venues in Wales and new health and safety measures have been introduced. The Betting and Gaming Council has praised this decision, naming it ‘the right move’. BCG has been one of the most vocal supporters of the reopening, both in Wales and Scotland, but also in England.
It is clear that these decisions will enable the UK casino industry to enter a process of revitalisation following the crisis that was a result of lockdown and venue closures.