The UK government announced plans to reopen businesses following new COVID-19 tier measures, ensuring the reopening of betting shops across the country and sport speculators. Some, however, have criticised this approach deeming it unnecessary and harmful to the gaming industry.
The United Kingdom is approaching the final leg of their second national lockdown having experienced mass betting shop and casino closure, and is set to exit on December 2nd. The Prime Minister stated earlier this week that once the lockdown ends, a tiered system will be resumed.
While the tiered system will still be in place, amendments are being made to ensure Tier 2 regions will now be allowed to reopen affected businesses. Tier 3 regions will still however be forced to keep the doors to casinos and betting stores closed.
Nonetheless, the capacity at which regions can resume operation will still be dependent on the number of positive coronavirus cases, pressure on the NHS branches.
In the past, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) have raised their concerns numerous times for the devastating effects national betting store closures have had on the UK gaming industry, at times deeming it unnecessary in light of scientific evidence.
BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher said:
Casinos are best-in-class amongst the hospitality sector when it comes to anti-Covid measures; there is no evidence that they contribute to the spread of the virus,
He commented on betting shops push to stricter rules if given the green light to resume operations.
On top of the stringent anti-Covid measures betting shops already adhere to, our members have agreed to further restrictions to limit any chance of Covid-19 being transmitted in their premises.
Hopeful, Dugher adds:
We now look forward to England coming out of lockdown next week, with betting shops back contributing to the Exchequer and playing their part in helping power the country’s economic recovery.
The announcement is good news for the sport betting industry as spectators are allowed to return to events in tiers one and two; proving particularly beneficial for the suffering horse racing sector due to COVID-19.
Racehorse Owners Association Charlie Liverton, on behalf of The Horsemen’s Group, commented on the situation:
I am grateful to all those across the industry and government who have worked hard to get us to this position and look forward to constructive conversations on owner attendance at racecourses,
“Owners and other participants have played a vital role in ensuring racing could continue behind closed doors and under tight restrictions.”
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