Land Based Casinos Offer To Stop Serving Alcohol To Prevent Closures
After the UK’s PM Boris Johnson announced stricter measures to curb the spread of coronavirus, the hospitality industry has taken a huge hit once again. A curfew on pubs and restaurants including casinos to close at 10pm every night and more stringent lockdowns in local areas with a higher number of cases will have a detrimental effect on the hospitality industry and cause 1,000’s of job losses.
Stop Serving Alcohol
Michael Dugher, chairman of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has responded with a handwritten letter to the government in which he offered to stop serving alcohol in casinos to allow these venues to remain open, with venues selling alcohol being most at risk of closure.
Mr Dugher reiterated the closure of these venues would have a “catastrophic” impact on the industry and lead to thousands of job losses. The closure of casinos will be “disastrous” for the sector, they are still reeling from the lockdown earlier on in the year. Although the industry is dusting itself down after the lengthy lockdown, they were showing signs of bouncing back until the latest announcements were made.
“No Public Health Ground”
He went on to say the decision was unfair and based on “no public health ground” after casinos had proved they were fully compliant with the government’s guidelines in ensuring staff and customers safety.
“Casinos have already proved, thanks to their world class track and trace systems, the use of Perspex screens, hand sanitisers and strict social distancing rules, that they are Covid-secure according to Public Health England.
“Ministers need to understand that casinos are not pseudo-nightclubs or places where young people go to drink. Nevertheless, they are willing to reduce their risk levels even further by refusing to serve alcohol, which the government seems to think is another factor in the spread of the virus.”
Although during lockdown, online trading rose but this did not offset the damage caused by land-based casino closures. Mr Dugher urged the government to revise its plans on the current regulations or it will inevitably lead to thousands of job losses in this difficult economic climate.
Casinos throughout the UK employ more than 14,000 staff members and have contributed more than £1.3 billion to the Treasury in tax over the last three years.