All gambling venues across England must close their doors by November 5th. This news follows on from Boris Johnson’s announcement that the country will be entering a second lockdown because novel coronavirus cases have surged once more.
Venues everywhere will be shut until December
Everything from bingo halls and casinos to betting shops and gaming arcades will be closed until December 3rd as the government attempts to slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent the NHS from becoming overwhelmed.
Gambling venues aren’t the only commercial venues to be affected, though. Any non-essential shops will also be shutting down. This includes retailers, leisure facilities and entertainment centres. If the contagion isn’t contained, then the December 3rd deadline could be extended.
The government had stated previously that they wouldn’t be imposing a second lockdown across the whole country. Instead, they were relying on local lockdowns, which were already in place in areas like Greater Manchester, Lancashire and South Yorkshire.
The wellbeing of the people is a top priority
Though necessary, the economic impact of a second lockdown on the gambling industry could be devastating. The Betting and Gaming Council had before asked the government not to force the gambling venues closed, as this could lead to widespread redundancy.
Sports betting and gambling operator GVC Holdings also responded to the news. They announced that their losses could climb to £45 million, even with the government’s support. However, they did acknowledge that a second lockdown was critical to keeping patrons safe.
“The well-being, safety and security of our colleagues and customers is of paramount importance to us,” said a GVC spokesperson. “We are following government advice in each area of our operations and are enacting contingency plans to minimise the impact on the business.”