BGC seeks guarantee on December reopening

GVC Holdings says England’s new lockdown will cost it £27m.
GVC Holdings says England’s new lockdown will cost it £27m.

The Betting and Gaming Council is asking the government to commit to allowing casinos and betting shops in England to reopen from December 2.

UK.- With betting shops in England forced to close again from this Thursday, the Betting and Gaming Council is seeking assurances from the government that venues will be allowed to reopen from December 2.

The government in London has declared a new nationwide lockdown in England for one month until December 2. 

The decision is a blow to the industry following reopenings after the initial period of lockdown from March to June for betting shops, and until August for casinos.

GVC Holdings estimates that the new four-week lockdown in England will cost the FTSE-100 company £27m in corporate losses.

BGC CEO Michael Dugher welcomed the government’s decision to extend the existing furlough scheme but stressed that casinos and betting shops had proven that they were safe and should not be lumped in with other hospitality venues.

He said: “It’s also important that when the latest lockdown is over, betting shops are allowed to open safely along with other non-essential retail, as they were in June.

“Casinos, which have the best anti-Covid measures operating anywhere in hospitality and entertainment, should also reopen at the same time. 

“At a time when there is widespread despair among sporting bodies, the government also needs to recognise that a healthy betting industry is vital to the funding of sport, and that betting shops, in particular, are critical to the financing of horseracing.”

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