BGC condemns Scottish government’s refusal to re-open casinos
The BGC has criticized Scotland’s government for its decision to not allow casinos to re-open while the rest of the country’s hospitality scene is opening at the moment. Michael Dugher, the chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, addressed a letter to Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, writing that this puzzling decision meant that 700 individuals were left out of their jobs.
Currently, the rule states that casinos will have the opportunity to re-open in level one zones, while all other hospitality venues including restaurants, bars and pubs were allowed to open in level two zones as well. A report by Dr Lisa Ackerley which states that casinos are “as safe, if not safer” than most other hospitality locations was used by Dugher as an example, to prove that there is no scientific reason to leave casinos out of these decisions to re-open.
Restaurants and pubs in Scotland are allowed to re-open starting from the 26th of April, while all gaming venues were instructed to re-open in early June.
Dugher mentioned in his letter to Sturgeon:
“The singling out of casino businesses within the hospitality sector for not being able to open in level two areas, alongside the rest of their peer group, is baffling and, on an evidence-based approach, without justification. Our casino members in Scotland are at a complete loss as to understand the decision not to allow them to reopen alongside venues such as pubs, restaurants, cinemas, bingo halls and high street arcades.
Please can you explain the scientific basis of this decision? I appeal to you to pay heed to the compelling evidence. When parts of the country return to level 2 status, casinos should be allowed to open alongside other hospitality venues. These businesses deserve to be treated with parity and fairness. All they expect is an equitable approach to hospitality, based on the highest quality evidence that exists.”