Scottish betting shop restrictions to end next week

The Scottish Parliament has decided to lift restrictions from July 22.
The Scottish Parliament has decided to lift restrictions from July 22.

The Scottish government has agreed to lift restrictions on seating and screenings in betting shop premises.

UK.- The Scottish government has announced it will relax restrictions imposed on betting shops when they reopened after the Covid-19 lockdown. Restrictions on seating and screenings will be lifted on July 22.

Betting shops in Scotland were allowed to reopen on June 29 but were subject to a series of restrictions, including the removal of all seating, switching off gaming machines and not screening racing live on television.

Those restrictions will be lifted from July 22, although bookmakers will still need to follow other measures such as use of screens, hand sanitisers and physical distancing.

Industry trade association, The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), has welcomed the decision to lift the restrictions.

It had warned that revenue was down by 95 per cent compared to before the lockdown, saying it believed the restrictions could be at least partly to blame, putting the future of Scotland’s 900 betting shops and their 4,500 staff at risk.

BGC Chief Executive, Michael Dugher, said: “This is great news for Scotland’s 900 betting shops and the 4,500 hardworking staff that they employ.

“We have always said that the extra restrictions imposed on Scottish betting shops were unnecessary. We are delighted that the Scottish government has listened and responded. 

“Betting shops in Scotland can now look forward to playing their part in helping to kick-start the economy, supporting Scottish racing and providing a safe environment for customers who enjoy a flutter.”

The Betting and Gaming Council meanwhile continues to call on the UK government in London to allow casinos to reopen.

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