The UK government’s decision to lift restrictive measures as of July 19 means that land-based casinos in England can open their door without limitations for the first time since March 2020.
In the words of Boris Johnson, ‘almost all’ restrictions governing leisure businesses and hospitality in England will be lifted on the due date, and so casinos can start to welcome their customers back on to the gaming floor in full capacity.
It is also anticipated that the need to wear face coverings will be quashed, as well as the one metre rule on social distancing, and so casinos can welcome as many customers as they normally would have prior to the pandemic.
In the words of the Prime Minister, England will experience the ‘closest version of pre-pandemic normalcy’ it has known since the outbreak began in the spring of 2020, and that is a decision that has been welcomed by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), whose members have been hit particularly hard during the past 15 months or so.
The chief executive of the BGC, Michael Dugher, is delighted that his members could go back to operating as normal.
“We strongly welcome the government’s intention to remove the remaining Covid restrictions on July 19, which will provide a much-needed boost to the economy,“ he said.
“It is particularly good news for hospitality venues like casinos and their staff, as the businesses have had to endure many, many months of closure and crippling restrictions.”
The move to lift restrictions will almost certainly safeguard the future of a number of land-based casino properties that might otherwise have shut down, similarly to those casinos that have been forced to close for good in Bristol and Southport. The sector employs more than 10,000 people and contributes some £500 million to the UK economy each year, so this truly is a timely boost.
Dugher hopes that the restrictions on foreign travel will be next to be lifted, given how much international tourists pump into the capital’s casinos and in other major English cities.
“We would also like to see further progress on foreign travel, given that, for example, London’s casinos contribute £120m to the capital’s tourism sector,” he commented.
There is no news yet on the next stage of lifting restrictions in Wales and Northern Ireland, although it is believed that all safety measures in Scotland will be removed in August.
Cambodia’s Future Less Certain
As you probably know, the travel restrictions to international countries from the UK will remain in place for the foreseeable future, and that means that only the nations on the green list can be visited safely.
However, there are those who are taking a trip to the amber-listed countries and quarantining as necessary on their return, and of those one Asian country that has proved particularly popular with tourists in recent years is Cambodia.
Famed for its stunning landscapes, sumptuous food and thriving casino sector, Cambodia has plenty to offer adventurous punters, however the bad news is that the escalation of the Delta Covid variant there has forced the government to close its borders with Thailand and Vietnam.
The two main casinos, Star Vegas Resort & Club and Naga World, may be forced to close their doors too during what would have been a key time for tourism. The hope is that the closures, if they do come, are only temporary.