BGC wants more government support for beleaguered casino industry
World-famous venues like Mayfair’s Les Ambassadeurs and the London Hippodrome are among more than one hundred casinos that are facing the risk of permanently shutting down if they do not receive more support from the government, the Betting & Gaming Council (BGC) warned.
Urging the government to provide the beleaguered casino industry with more support, the BGC described that the permanent shutting down of more than 100 casinos would mean loss of as many as 6,000 jobs in addition to a loss of a significant tax stream for the government.
Even as the UK government has decided not to further extend the closure order for casinos, the gambling industry is facing uncertain future due to hefty losses that it suffered because of months-long corona virus pandemic-induced closure. BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher stressed that the next few months would be particularly crucial to the beleaguered industry’s recovery.
Speaking on the topic, Mr. Dugher said, “World famous and iconic venues like the Hippodrome and Les Ambassadeurs are not just part of our proud past, they want to be part of economic revival in the future. They are not looking for a hand out – they are looking to help out.”
Mr. Dugher also pointed out that while most iconic casinos in the country were forced to remain idle; many other indoor facilities like pubs and restaurants were allowed to resume operations.
The casino industry plays a considerable role in supporting the national economy by contributing more than £300 million per year to the country’s tourism industry. In addition, the industry makes considerable contributions to the Exchequer. Last year, the industry contributed £4 million and £5.7 million to the country’s tourism and the Exchequer, respectively, on weekly basis.
The UK casinos were ordered to suspend operations on March 20 as parts of the government’s efforts to curb the further spread of the deadly corona virus pandemic. After remaining shuttered for months, the industry will finally welcome back patrons this Saturday. However, casinos will have to assure government authorities that their venues are COVID-19-secure, with measures like perspex screens, hand sanitization stations, strict hygiene protocols and sophisticated track & trace systems are in place. After suffering hefty loss over the past few months, it would obviously not be easy for the operators to comply with the government’s new health safety protocols as it would require significant investments.