UK Gaming Council Warns Casino Industry May Lose 6,000 Jobs
The Prime Minister added that the industry may lose 6,000 jobs permanently because of the current coronavirus pandemic.
The UK government recently changed its plans to reopen the casino industry on August 1. The country’s Betting and Gaming Council said that this decision has a huge impact on the industry that was forced to completely close for several months.
The council added that the repercussion of this decision is something that the casino industry might never recover in the future.
Casino industry at risk
The coronavirus pandemic forced the country to implement strict lockdown and social distancing rules to prevent or at least curb the spread of the virus. This means that all non-essential establishments and business should be completely shut. The casino industry is among the hardest hit of industries with losses reaching unprecedented lows.
In an attempt to jump start the economy after the prolonged lockdown, the government decided to open up some businesses like restaurants, pubs, and shops. While this is a welcome sign of economic life for many businesses, strict social distancing protocols are still implemented.
While businesses, pubs, shops, and restaurants were allowed to reopen, casinos were not. The government initially planned to allow casinos to reopen on August 1. However, due to a recent spike in cases in the country, the government was forced to abandon the plan.
Casino operators estimated that the cost of preparation for the reopening of the industry is around £6 million. This includes training, security, food and beverage stocks, and staffing. Operators claim that for every week that the casinos remained closed, it will cost the industry more than £5 million.
The closure is also making a significant dent on the UK Treasury. With a massive number of staff furloughed, as well as lost tax revenue, the public coffer is losing £10 million a week. Many casino operators are calling the government to reconsider the opening of casinos in order to avoid such massive revenue lost.
Massive revenue loss
The casino industry employs more than 14,000 across the country. More than 12,000 of these jobs are in England alone. The industry also employs an additional 4,000 people who are working on the supply chain.
In terms of tax revenue, the entire casino industry paid more than £300 million per year before the coronavirus pandemic. The casino industry is losing a massive amount of money that some operators fear that they will not be able to recover from it.
In a statement, BGC chief executive Michael Dugher said:
“The Government are swinging a wrecking ball right through the middle of our industry and large scale job losses, which ought to be unnecessary and avoidable, now look inevitable unless ministers act fast.”
The BGC, along with casino operators, are urging the government to seriously reconsider opening the industry before it is too late. As of this writing, the UK government has yet to address this particular concern.
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