New Covid Alert Tiers And Casino Closure

Image by Gary Butterfield
Article by : Helen Oct 29, 2020

The UK sees a “three-tier” lockdown system which is going to place the cities into different categories depending on the level of infection. Those parts of the country where the rate is the highest will face the hardest restrictions. The “tier-three” system means there are three levels of the infection rate such as the medium, the high, and the very high level.

As far as Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire have the tier three rating, the gambling places here are going to be closed once the new restrictions will be imposed on these regions. The restrictions in the very high alert level are similar to measures that were taken during the UK-wide lockdown at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic. So, the following venues must be closed until the regions are in the tier-three rating: bingo halls, betting shops, casinos, and adult gaming clubs. The Liverpool city region was placed under these measures on 14 October, in Greater Manchester, the restrictions came into force on 23 October, while South Yorkshire faced them on 24 October. The Liverpool city region includes six boroughs where the gambling venues, gyms, and pubs will be closed for at least one month or even up to 6 months.

The Betting and Gaming Council claimed that the land-based sector of the UK gambling market needs support from the government. According to BGC’s post on Twitter, the horseracing segment has been suffering from the lack of spectators. Not to mention that the Treasury in Greater Manchester won’t receive around £54 million in tax because of the closing of betting shops.

Betting and Gaming Council chief executive Michael Dugher has sent a request to the Business Secretary and asked him to block the unnecessary closure of gambling venues. As he said it could cause the reduction of workplaces and thousands of people might face unemployment. The BGC also claimed there is a lack of evidence that casinos and betting shops spread the virus. For this reason, the BGC wrote to local leaders in areas that are in tier-two rating and strongly encouraged them to resist the closure of betting shops and land-based casinos. Over 40,000 employees are working in 6,700 shops and most of them are female.

The decision on closure of casinos and betting shops will not help to prevent the spread of Covid. On the other hand, the gambling industry can help to sustain the economy when it is really needed.

Michael Dugher, Betting and Gaming Council Chief Executive

Betting shops in Yorkshire pay £24m in tax and £6m in levy payments every year, while more than 1000 people are provided with jobs. However, the lack of spectators because of the lockdown has a bad influence on this segment.

The restrictions which are in place for the Central Belt area include the closure of casinos and they will be valid until 2 November. The Central Belt area includes such health board areas as Lothian, Arran, Forth Valley, Greater Glasgow and Clyde, and Lanarkshire. Moreover, Scotland is going to enter a five-level system instead of the three-tier one. Depending on how the Covid-19 will be spreading, from zero to four tiers will be applied in different parts of Scotland.

At the same time, Nicola Sturgeon who is the Scottish First Minister announced that the new restrictions should be introduced in the near future. However, the government doesn’t consider returning to the severe lockdown that was imposed earlier at the beginning of spring.

Helen

Chief Editor

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