Casinos in England are facing further delays in reopening their doors after Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed that the government will ‘squeeze that brake pedal’ in slowing down the spread of COVID-19.
A number of venues, including casinos, were due to reopen on 1 August as the country began to ease restrictions. However, following a spike in cases across Greater Manchester and other northern cities, the reopening of such venues is delayed ‘by at least a fortnight’.
During a Downing Street press conference, chief medical officer Chris Whitty explained that the country has ‘probably reached or neared the limits of what we can do in terms of opening up society’.
Reacting to the news, Betting and Gaming Council CEO Michael Dugher raised concerns over potential job losses.
Posting on Twitter, he said: “There is no evidence that casinos are ‘higher risk’ venues + what happened to the Govt’s local lockdown strategy? Why should a casino business remain closed in Bristol in the south west where Covid is low, because there’s a spike in Greater Manchester? Big threat to jobs.”
It comes after the BGC criticised the government for failing to provide clarity over the reopening of casinos, claiming that it was an ‘inconsistent and nonsensical’ decision to keep doors closed.
Every casino in the country has been closed since March 23 as part of the national effort to tackle the spread of the virus, with operators said to have been ‘working around the clock’ to ensure premises and operations adhere to guidelines.