Mark Drakeford, the Welsh First Minister, has recently announced that Wales will enter into a new short lockdown. This comes as COVID-19 continues to spread across the UK. This new lockdown will force casinos, betting shops and gaming arcades to close from 23rd October.
A Firebreak lockdown
The latest lockdown in Wales is being dubbed the ‘firebreak’ and it hopes to prevent the spread of the virus even further. The consequences of this lockdown mean that non-essential shops, entertainment venues and hospitality venues will be forced to shut until the 9th of November.
First Minister Drakeford said: “This is the moment to come together; to play our part in a common endeavour to protect the NHS and save lives.” He hopes that the country can work together and stop the virus in its tracks.
Calls for further support
With betting shops, arcades and gaming arcades forced to shut, there is cause for concern within the industry. Casinos in Wales were forced to shut from mid-March until 29th August and this latest move will only worsen their financial burden.
The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has called for support for the gambling industry in Wales. The BGC has already expressed concern for the UK Government’s handling of COVID-19 in relation to the gambling industry as a whole.
They said: “The BGC is urging the government to come up with the necessary package of financial support for businesses affected, including 366 betting shops and three casinos employing 2,000 people between them.”
Hopefully, the Welsh government will find a solution that protects the gambling industry in Wales. If not, we could see some of these venues failing to open their doors once again when the firebreak lockdown is over.