Operators closed all retail gaming and betting venues yesterday.
UK.- Gambling operators followed other high street businesses in closing yesterday (Monday, September 19) to respect Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral. Land-based casinos, gaming halls, betting shops and bingo venues were closed for the day, which the government had declared a public holiday.
Companies such as Betfred, Ladbrokes Coral, Rank Group and William Hill announced their closures on social media. Rank’s Mecca Bingo and Grosvenor Casinos venues closed from 4am to 6pm. Aspers Group, Buzz Bingo, Genting UK and Metropolitan Gaming also closed their venues. Queen Elizabeth’s state funeral took place at Westminster Abbey in London.
Betfred founder Fred Done said in a personal statement: “The Queen”s dedication and work ethic throughout her life is an inspiration to us all. If only there were more people like her, the world would be a better place.
“We reflect on Her Majesty’s passion for horse racing. Who could forget the scenes at Royal Ascot when she won the Gold Cup in 2013? And when England won the World Cup in 1966, she presented the trophy to captain Bobby Moore. Unforgettable moments that we will treasure forever.”
The funeral service began at 11am, led by the Dean of Westminster, Reverend David Hoyle MBE, and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. A procession then carried Queen Elizabeth’s coffin from Westminster to St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle.
Some land-based gambling venues had also closed on Friday, September 9, after Queen Elizabeth II’s death was announced, while sporting events were cancelled. The horse racing sector in particular has paid tribute to the late monarch, who was known for her interest in the sport.
Paul Darling OBE KC, chairman of Horserace Betting Levy Board, said: “Her Majesty made an incalculable contribution to horseracing and breeding and to the horse world in a life of duty and service.”
Meanwhile, speculation is brewing that the UK government may finally scrap its long-delayed overhaul of gambling legislation. The new prime minister Liz Truss is said to favour ditching plans for new regulation in a range of areas in order to focus on economic growth.
Originally due to be published at the start of the year, the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s white paper on gambling has been pushed back month after month. It was reportedly ready for publication when Boris Johnson’s resignation put things on hold.