Boris Johnsons U-Turn On Reopening Casinos Could Cost The Sector 6000 Jobs
On the 31st July 2020, one day before the planned reopening of more businesses in the entertainment sector including bowling alleys, cinemas and casinos, the PM announced casinos would have to wait and pushed back the date of reopening until at least the 15th August.
Up To 6000 Jobs Could Go
The shocking U-turn caused grave concerns to the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), who warned this U-Turn could cost the industry up to 6000 jobs, almost half supported by the sector.
BGC chief executive, Michael Dughar, wrote to UK’s finance minister Rishi Sunak expressing ‘utter dismay’ at the governments decision, just one day before they were due to reopen their doors. £6m has already been spent by the sector to ensure all venues across the UK are Covid safe and each having followed strict government guidelines to protect its staff and customers.
£200,000 of food and drink brought in for the reopening of venues on the 1stAugust has since been donated to charity.
Extend Job Retention Scheme
The BGC have urged the government to extend its job retention scheme if they fail to give clear instruction as to when casinos can reopen or fear the 6000 job losses will be imminent. Before the lockdown, casinos contributed £5b per week to the treasury in tax, coupled with the £5b being payed out to furloughed staff the government are losing £10b per week while casinos remain closed.
Michael Dugher said,
“ The government are swinging a wrecking ball right through the middle of our industry and large scale job losses, which ought to be unnecessary and avoiddable, now look inevitable unless ministers act fast.
“ The ongoing cost of remaining in a holding pattern to reopen is clearly not sustainable, with more jobs and livelihoods being put at risk with every last minute change and delay to reopen.”
As mentioned above, the earliest date for reopening of casinos is the 15th August, until then customers will have to stick with their favourite online casino for a little longer to play table games or spin the slot reels.