The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has urged the UK government to reassure casinos that they will be supported if new Covid-related restrictions are imposed.
Casinos are a “integral element” of Britain’s hospitality economy, according to BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher, who is seeking assurances from Westminster that any future measures will be supported by enough assistance.
“Casinos are a significant economic contributor to the UK as well as an important part of the hospitality industry,” Dugher said.
“They have begun to recuperate from the numerous impositions, including protracted closures and travel bans, after a gruelling 18 months, but they are now naturally anxious that additional restrictions over Christmas and into the new year may have a substantial impact on their recuperation.”
While a return to lockdown-style restrictions has not been enforced, public health officials are warning people to avoid unnecessary contact, and there are concerns that hospitality venues may be affected.
This has prompted calls for Chancellor Rishi Sunak to propose a business-friendly economic package, as he did during the pandemic.
The BGC emphasised casinos’ role to the British economy in a statement, claiming that the country’s 120 casinos employ 11,600 people and pay £600 million ($799 million) in taxes while generating £1.2 billion in gross value added.
“Casinos, like many others in the hotel business, are merely seeking reassurances that they will be sufficiently supported by government if the epidemic needs even more severe limitations,” Dugher said.
This followed the BGC’s publication of a report highlighting the gambling industry’s contributions to communities.