Casinos in England and Scotland to Reopen on May 17
It has been a long time coming, but following all the financial pain caused by COVID-19, casinos in England and Scotland have finally been formally given the green light by the government to reopen their doors.
Pain Finally Over for Bricks and Mortar Gambling Operators
From Monday, May 17, casinos and bingo halls can once again welcome punters after they were forced to shut alongside retail spaces owing to the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
Back in July of last year, a phased reopening was initiated after the government had decided to close down all such spaces. However, this didn’t last long as land-based bingo and casino operators were once more forced to close their doors when a long, painful national lockdown was introduced.
The gambling industry as a whole didn’t lose out too much, with most businesses simply heading to the online sphere. However, land-based casinos and bingo venues are big employers, and so the new announcement of restrictions coming to an end is music to everyone’s ears.
Reopening Scheduled as Part of Government’s Roadmap
In February, Boris Johnson’s government released its so-called ‘roadmap out of lockdown’ for England. Within it, high street betting shops were allowed to open their doors from April 12, with casinos and bingo halls at the time given only a provisional, tentative date of May 17.
However, with the country’s vaccination programme having been so successful and the fight against coronavirus apparently, albeit belatedly, being won, this reopening date has been confirmed with land-based operators now allowed to open their doors alongside pubs.
The roadmap, of course, only covered England, with the Scottish parliament covering such matters north of the border.
In a further round of good news, however, it seems Scotland too will allow casinos and bingo venues to reopen on the same day, along with pubs and restaurants that can now sell alcohol inside. This has alleviated the fears of the Betting and Gaming Council, who were worried that further delays for their industry were likely.
Operators Plan for Reopening
Of the brands this affects is Mecca Bingo, owned by Rank Group one, which has now formally announced its plans to open up its doors on Monday, May 17.
The group has been running in one form or another for over 60 years but has never had to deal with a situation like this.
Mecca, alongside other major brands such as Grosvenor and Genting, is now planning for a bumper year within the bingo and casino industries and is planning to welcome back customers in style.
Given the way things have played out for people in Britain over the past 15 months or so, it is felt within the industry that customers will want to see far more for their money, and it appears, thankfully, that the operators are planning to respond to that in terms of what entertainment they offer at venues.
Initially, venues will need to be booked out, and some social distancing and guest number limits will apply. However, despite not quite being back to normal as yet, those who love a game of bingo, poker, roulette, or a go on the slots can now begin to enjoy their pastimes for the first time in months.
This is a major step for the industry, one that has been under fire for some time but remains a very important employer and a major part of the country’s fabric.