More than 130 casinos in England and Scotland will be allowed to re-open for business from May 17 onwards as Boris Johnson revealed the next stage of his easing of restrictions roadmap.
It’s the first time in 2021 that casinos have been permitted to open, and for many it brings an end to an almost year-long closure following the regional lockdowns of 2020.
The Prime Minister has confirmed that England is on track for the scheduled roadmap to continue as planned, which means that internal hospitality can commence on Monday – albeit with some restrictions, such as distancing and capacity limits, still in place.
Some casinos and bingo halls reopened in the summer of 2020 for a brief period, however many located in major cities were soon forced to close again after the measures were introduced to halt the health crisis.
Relief for the Industry
The news could not have come at a better time for the major operators such as Genting and Grosvenor, who have both been forced to permanently close a number of premises in Bristol, Torquay and Southport, while a whole host of job cuts and redundancies have also been made.
Genting had hinted in April that they were plotting a May reopening, with a post on their website stating:
“Our teams will be returning to work over the next few weeks to ensure that your casino is still the safe, friendly environment where you can once again experience the thrill, excitement and rush of your favourite casino games.”
And they have now confirmed that all of their premises will opening as planned when the restrictions are lifted next week.
“We’re excited to confirm that we will be opening our doors again on May 17th. We’re also pleased to announce that our casinos in Scotland will also be reopening alongside our English casinos on this date.”
Meanwhile, in a statement on their website Grosvenor also reiterated their 50-strong collection of venues will be open as planned.
“We are looking forward to opening our doors on the 17th May – it’s been too long since we have been able to share the good times with you,” it read. “We assure you that you will feel safe with us, and we even have extra measures in place to make you feel welcome.
“We can’t wait to welcome you back to our casinos.”
Let the Games Begin
On Tuesday it was confirmed that Scotland would also be lowering their own restrictions to Level 2.
Amongst the raft of changes that brings, indoor hospitality can commence from May 17 and so casinos are free to open their doors in Glasgow, Edinburgh and beyond.
Initially, it was feared that casinos in Scotland might have to wait a bit longer than the original roadmap – but that caused fury after it was revealed that pubs and restaurants would be able to welcome punters indoors.
However, a series of safety checks revealed that casinos were safe to admit a limited capacity of customers, and so the games will begin once again on Monday.