A casino was forced to close down hours after its reopening following the Government’s extension of its coronavirus restrictions in the town. The casino in question is the Grosvernor Casino located in Bolton, United Kingdom.
The casino reopened on September 2, for the first time, after months of closure due to pandemic related restrictions. It had welcomed its guests and operated normally. But by 8 pm it was ordered to close down as it received a notice from the Government and a visit from the police.
Jonathan Swaines, the managing director of Grosvenor Casinos, was aware of the news regarding Bolton being kept under the Greater Manchester COVID-19 restrictions due to the spike in cases and sought further clarification if the casino should be shut down. He further elaborated on this by saying that he found out about the u-turn news twelve and a half hours into the casino’s operation and that the casino management was waiting to hear from the government about its decision but it was not able to inform the casino management earlier. He further added that by 8 pm, police were already dispatched in its premises and helpfully attended to the casino and advised it to close.
Commenting on this whole debacle, Swaines has expressed his frustration and has described the occurrence as wholly illogical as some pubs and hotels are allowed to continue operations. He further added that the Mecca Bingo, also part of the same group as the casino, is right beside it and has been operating safely and responsibly during the pandemic. He also mentioned that the casino has been made COVID safe through social distancing measures while also stressing that these measures were signed off by regulators.
Swaines also expressed his worries about the effect of casino closures on its workers. He stated that the closures create uncertainty for its seventy-four employees in Bolton. He also mentioned that closures are not only costly for the business but are also emotionally costly for its employees. The casino has spent a large amount on health and safety measures and has brought its employees back from furlough in the days leading to its reopening. In light of this, he also expressed his deepest concern towards his colleagues as they were looking forward to a bounceback. Swaines also added that any staff redundancies, if any, will only be decided upon after all of the company’s casinos have fully reopened. The company has made it clear that the health and safety of colleagues and customers remain its top priority and that it will be closed until the government green lights its reopening.
In light of all this, Swaines hopes that a reopening date for Greater Manchester casinos will be decided as earlier as possible as closures will not only drain businesses but will also drain taxpayers and the government the necessary funds needed to help get the economy back on its feet. As it stands, four Grosvenor Casinos venues remain closed and these include the Bolton Leicester properties.
In line with this, lockdown restrictions are to be eased in Greater Manchester while Bolton is still under lockdown restrictions.