HomeInsightsBetting and Gaming Council calls on Department for Business to intervene over the Government’s decision to close betting shops and casinos in Tier 3 lockdown areas

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The Government has been accused of behaving in an “ill-informed and arbitrary” way over the decision to order the closure of betting shops and casinos despite a lack of evidence that they contribute to the spread of Covid-19.

Betting and Gaming Council chief executive Michael Dugher has written to Business Secretary Alok Sharma urging his department to intervene to block the “unfair and unnecessary” move, putting tens of thousands of jobs in the industry at risk.

Betting shops have been included in the list of businesses having to close in areas placed under Tier 3 coronavirus restrictions: the only part of non-essential high street retail having to do so. This is despite the venues re-opening on 15 June 2020 with stringent anti-Covid measures in place, including perspex screens and track and trace systems. It means bookies, as well as casinos in Merseyside and Lancashire have already been forced to close their doors, and those in Tier 2 are now worried that they will be ordered to cease trading within days.

The BGC has also written to local leaders in Tier 2 areas urging them to oppose the forced closure of betting shops and casinos due to the lack of evidence that they spread the virus. To read the BGC’s press release in full, click here.