Betting shops in England should be able to reopen from June 15 as the UK Prime Minister announces plans to ease lockdown.
UK.- Betting shops in England should be able to reopen from the middle of June according to plans announced by UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson.
Johnson has announced that non-essential retailers, which include betting shops, can reopen on June 15 – three weeks earlier than expected – provided that continued progress is made in limiting the spread of Covid-19.
It means betting shops in England could be open in time for Royal Ascot, which is set to go ahead with 36 races behind closed doors from June 16 to 20.
Meanwhile, the Racing Post newspaper is to start printing again from next Monday (June 1) to coincide with the resumption of British horse racing.
Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have established their own lockdown measures, and as such the date announced by Johnson only applies to England.
Betting shops will be required to implement social distancing measures and where applicable screens to separate customers, frequent hand washing and cleaning of surfaces that are touched regularly such as betting terminals. They may have to limit capacity and activity time.
Betting shops, which have been closed since March 20 in England, are likely to open gradually. William Hill announced earlier this month that it was planning a “staged opening”.
A spokesperson for the UK’s Betting and Gaming Council said: “With racing returning soon, we welcome the fact that betting shops across the country will be able to open their doors again on June 15.
“Our members are working hard to prepare shops for reopening and to ensure a safe environment for customers with social distancing and hygiene measures in place.
“Bookies employ nearly 50,000 hard-working staff, who have all played their part in the national effort to combat the spread of Covid-19, and we now look forward to providing customers with the best possible experience as lockdown eases.”
A statement from GVC Holdings, owners of Ladbrokes Coral, said: “We are well prepared to open some of our shops in June and will be following the Covid-19 secure guidance.”
A recent report suggests that there has been no growth in illegal gambling during the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown.