Government denies casinos a July reopening

Casino venues remain in the lurch with regards to their future schedules, as the government denies them a July reopening.

Yesterday afternoon, DCMS Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced the government’s latest easing orders for leisure and hospitality businesses – a ‘significant lifting of lockdown restrictions for arts, entertainment and sport’.

From this Saturday (11 July), England’s outdoor pools, sports pitches and open-air performance venues (including opera, theatre and music halls) will be allowed to reopen, obeying the government’s new rules on sports and entertainment participation.

The weekend’s easing orders will be followed by England’s beauty salons, tattoo parlours and tanning rooms being allowed to reopen on Monday 13 July.

The government’s further easing orders conclude with gyms and indoor swimming pools granted their reopening orders on Saturday 25 July.

“We’ve made huge progress against the disease, and we are gradually seeing the things we love reopen. Normal life is slowly returning” said Dowden.

Alongside nightclubs, England’s casino venues have been given no notice as to their future easing orders.

The government’s decision to continue to sideline casinos follows pleas by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) for the sector and its workforce to be given clarity on their future.

Writing this week to Chancellor Rishi Sunak, BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher stated that the Treasury must face economic realities and allow casinos to reopen this month.

Ahead of yesterday’s announcement, Dugher welcomed the Treasury’s VAT cut (20-to-5%) for leisure and hospitality businesses, reminding the government that ‘casinos were on stand-by to aid the UK’s economic recovery’.

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