The latest phase of the government’s gradual reopening plan is a game-changer for casinos nationwide. Alongside restaurants, bars, cinemas, hotels, theaters, museums, and sports stadiums, most land-based casinos and bingo halls across the UK reopened on May 17.
The easing of coronavirus lockdowns saw betting shops reopen on April 12 together with non-essential retail. Betting shops are permitted to publicly broadcast live sports inside the shop.
During the third and current phase, certain restrictions will remain in place, such as capacity limits, wearing masks indoors, and adhering to social distancing measures. Casinos in Scotland will have to close at 10:30 p.m., and those in Glasgow won’t reopen yet.
In addition to transforming people’s behavior and how we interact with the world around us, the COVID-19 pandemic left gambling establishments and the broader UK economy counting the cost. After the total GGY for gaming machines decreased by 25.6%, brick-and-mortar casinos expanded their online offering to make up for the drop in revenue.
Many are now optimistic about the reopening of gambling venues and are hoping that the easing of restrictions will bring the economy back to life.
“It’s great news that most of the UK’s casinos are finally able to re-open,” said Michael Dughe, the chief executive of Britain’s Betting and Gaming Council.
“As well as providing excellent entertainment for their customers, casinos are a major contributor to the UK economy, something which will be vital in the months ahead as the government tries to repair the damage done to the nation’s finances by Covid-19,” Dughe added.
Others are also hoping that the phased reopening will help tackle other problems in society, especially after statistics revealed a correlation between problem gambling and COVID-19 lockdowns. As brick-and-mortar bookies and casinos closed their doors, a lot of gambling enthusiasts switched to virtual betting, which resulted in a spike in problem gambling.