Delays in reopening of UK casinos is ‘blessing in disguise’: Industry Analyst
While the UK Betting & Gaming Council and many casino operators have repeatedly criticized the British government for not allowing casinos to resume operations in wake of the deadly corona virus pandemic, an industry analyst has said that the repeated delays in the reopening of the casinos is a ‘blessing in disguise’ for the industry.
After remaining closed for months, casinos across the UK were meant to resume operations on 1st of August, but just a day before on 31st of July, the government reversed its decision and declared that lockdown restrictions for a number of businesses in the hospitality industry would not be lifted at least until mid of this month, with further delays expected. Rishi Sunak, the chief executive of the Betting & Gaming Council tried to pressurize the government emphasizing that the casino industry could not be kept in the dark any longer.
The Betting & Gaming Council warned that the casino industry might never be able to recover and swing back to its pre-corona crisis levels in case it is not allowed to reopen soon, industry analyst and SpringOwl Asset Management’s chief executive officer Jason Ader has a different opinion. He said that delays in the reopening of the casinos could apparently be a misfortune that eventually has good results.
In a recent interview, Ader said, “Personally, I think the UK casinos not reopening as scheduled on 1 August is a blessing in disguise. As a casino owner, what’s the rush to open just to lose money? I know everyone wants to get back to casinos but in perspective of the owners, they’re going to be writing cheques every month to cover losses.”
With measures in place at reopened casinos worldwide including Perspex screens, one-way systems and social distancing, Ader believes these constraints will make it difficult for the sector to recover any time soon.
Ader further explained that operating the way casinos were operating before the COVID-19 crisis would be the only way to enable the properties to return to profitability, otherwise the strict limitations and restrictions on profitability would be quite severe for the beleaguered industry.
The betting and gaming industry plays a significant role in the UK economy by providing employment to thousands of people and contributing to the Exchequer. Last year, the industry contributed 4 million pounds per week to the UK tourism and contributed 5.7 million pounds to the Exchequer in various taxes. Thus, reopening of the casinos could be very helpful as the government is struggling to make a post-lockdown bounce back.