UK Government Mandated the Closure of All Casinos & Betting Shops due to Covid-19

Home » UK Government Mandated the Closure of All Casinos & Betting Shops due to Covid-19

2.04.2020, 10:24

On March 20th of 2020, the UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, publicly announced the temporary closure of all betting shops, casinos, and bingo halls. The order was to go into effect that evening; all gaming venues would not open the next day and their doors would stay closed until further notice. 

The UK government does not have a predicted reopening date. Rather, the situation will be reviewed by the government every 28 days.

Casinos and other gaming venues were not the only businesses impacted by this announcement; restaurants, pubs, gyms, museums, and more businesses all had to close their doors. 

The UK government stated that, due to the public health crisis, such measures will be enforceable by law within Wales and England. Any business that continues to operate in defiance of the order will be considered as engaging in illegal activity. The police will assist officers from the Environmental Health and Trading Standards department in monitoring businesses’ compliance with these measures. 

The closure of so many businesses will no doubt affect the livelihood of many UK citizens and will have a negative impact on its nations’ economies. Chancellor Sunak announced plans that should hopefully offset some of this revenue loss. The plan, which is officially titled “Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme” ensures that the UK government will cover 80% of employees’ salaries during closures. However, there is a cap of £2,500 per month for each employee. Despite the cap, this is still higher than the median income within the UK.

This measure is being enacted in order to encourage businesses to retain employees rather than laying them off. The government, not the individual companies, will be responsible for paying the furloughed employees. 

For the time being, Sunak’s plan will be implemented for three months. However, it will be extended if necessary. Furthermore, the covered wages will be backdated all the way to March 1st. 

There is no funding limit for the plan. The UK government will issue however much money is needed to support its citizens. 

The job retention scheme is being implemented alongside business measures. These business measures will provide government aid to many businesses that have been grossly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. In addition to this, all businesses in the hospitality, leisure, and retail sectors will not have to pay business rate taxes for one year. 

The Betting and Gaming Council was not happy with these business measures, due to the exclusion of aid within the gambling industry. However, the council is welcoming the announced plans for the job retention scheme. 

According to Michael Dugher, the chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, casinos are responsible for approximately 64,000 jobs. Because of the closure of sports and horse racing events, these jobs are unsustainable without government aid. In addition to this, share prices are dropping and global gambling revenues may decline by up to 11%. 

Dugher is hopeful that the government’s action will help the UK make it through this health crisis. He added that the Betting and Gaming Council will continue to negotiate with Chancellor Sunak in order to garner more business support within the gambling industry. Dugher will be pressing for the same business rate exemption that other sectors have been receiving. 

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UK Government Mandated the Closure of All Casinos & Betting Shops due to Covid-19

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