BGC Welcomes Betting Shop Restriction Lift

As roughly 100 casinos across the UK got permission to reopen for customers on Monday, May 17. The UK Betting and Gambling Council welcomed this lockdown easing in hopes that it would boost the gambling industry hard-hit with COVID-19 restrictions.

High-street betting shops resumed their trading last month with a limited number of customers. They will be allowed to show live sporting events on TV as well, now that the anti-COVID measures have been lifted for betting shops. As part of this reopening push, Scottish bookies outside of Glasgow and Moray – which remain under Level Three restrictions – can now let punters try their luck on gaming machines.

Of course, while indoor gambling is now allowed, all bettors and players will have to comply with safety measures, like wearing masks, using hand sanitiser, and following social distancing rules.

In its official statement, the BGC reflected on the importance of the betting and gaming industry, which contributes £7.7 billion to the economy in gross value. Roughly 11,600 people work in the casino industry in the UK, adding more than £500 million in tax to the Treasury.

The BGC also cited Ernst and Young’s report describing how “betting shops across the UK support 46,000 jobs and pay nearly £1 billion a year in tax to the Treasury.” The report also addresses the significant sums the UK’s betting and gaming industry channels into sports such as football, rugby, and horse racing.

Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the BGC, stated: “I am also delighted that the restrictions imposed on betting shops are being lifted. Their safe reopening in April has been a huge success, and this is further reward for the efforts they have made to ensure their premises are COVID-secure.”

However, those who have doubts about just how safe reopening the casinos and bookies is can still enjoy placing their bets online on one of the many betting sites in the UK that flourished during the lockdown.