The Betting and Gaming council (BGC) have said UK Casinos are on ‘Standby’ in a bid to aid the recovery of the UK economy after a three-month lockdown. They are hoping the government includes the casino sector in the July opening of the entertainment and leisure industry.
Casinos Not Included
The industry took a huge blow after other parts of the hospitality industry were able to reopen on July 4th, casinos were not included on the list. The BGC have urged the government to allow casinos to reopen as soon as possible to help with the countries economic recovery.Since the lockdown in March 2020, a number of measures have been implemented including social distancing rules, sanitising stations, perspex screens and a track and trace system in place. Businesses in the hospitality and tourism industry were thrown a lifeline from Chancellor Rishi Sunak as he announced this week a huge cut in VAT from 20% down to 5% until January 2021.On top of this, Mr Sunak announced a £1,000 job retention bonus if employers bring its staff back off furlough. Each staff member returning to work and off the government’s furlough scheme will see employers gaining £1,000 per employee.
Rethink The Decision
The BGC have urged the government to rethink the decision to include casinos in the latest list of businesses allowed reopen in July. Michael Dugher Chief Executive for BGC said,“ We strongly welcomed the introduction of the furlough scheme back in March, and the Chancellor’s decision to extend it until the end of October, as a lifeline for our members in the leisure, entertainment and hospitality industries and the tens of thousands of people they employ. “ The announcement of a £1,000 job retention bonus for every furloughed worker brought back and continuously employed through to January is therefore good news and will help our members as they navigate their way out of lockdown. “ In order to take advantage of this new policy, casinos must be given the green light to re-open as quickly as possible in July. At the moment, casinos are costing the Exchequer around £5m per week while closed. Last year, they paid £5.7m in a week in tax.”