As lockdown restrictions are further eased across the UK, many businesses affected by the mandatory lockdown are now reopening. Wales’ brick and mortar casinos have now been given the green light to reopen by Saturday, August 29, 2020. Preparations have already been underway as Wales’ casino operators have been waiting for this opportunity ever since the lockdown easement was announced following the subsequent reopening of English and Scottish casinos earlier this month.
Many English and Scottish casinos are yet to bounce back from the mandatory lockdown restrictions. UK casinos have been effectively closed for 5 months and Wales’s casinos will be the last one to reopen. The country’s casino reopening dates have been delayed as Casinos were initially scheduled to reopen last August 1, but the government cancelled this, ultimately affecting most of the country’s casino industry’s reopening dates. This decision has lead to an overwhelming outcry from both casino operators and representing regulators, particularly the UK’s Betting and Gambling Council (BGC).
Earlier this August, BGC’s Chief Executive Michael Dugher has emphasised that casino operators have complied with regulatory health regulations and that they have gone through extraordinary lengths and costs to keep their premises COVID safe. The regulator has estimated that casino operators have spent almost £6 million in reopening preparations, and these include perspex screens, sanitization equipment, sophisticated track and trace systems, and as well as strict social distancing measures and hygiene protocols.
As it stands, Dugher’s emphasis on casino preparedness is warranted as Wales’ casino venues have been proven to have introduced a range of measures to ensure the safety of not only casino players but also casino staff as well. These include measures such as strict sanitizing procedures for staff, players, games and other equipment, strict social distancing rules, sophisticated track and trace systems, perspex screens, and other measures previously stated.
Wales has four casinos and these are operating in Cardiff and Swansea, employing over 300 staff. This news brings a breath of fresh air as the reopening will bring about job security.
Commenting on this reopening news, Carl Hoogwerf, the general manager of Grosvenor Casino Cardiff, has said that the casino is delighted that they can now finally welcome back its customers to enjoy its casino safely once more having already proved that it has not only complied with the necessary safety and sanitation standards but has exceeded them.
Dugher also commented on this news by warmly welcoming Mark Drakeford’s reopening announcement. He described this decision as a right move and a tremendous boost for the hundreds of men and women employed in Welsh casinos and as well as their customers. He also lauded the Welsh Government as it has heard and acted upon the concerns of the BGC’s members and responded to their efforts in ensuring that they can re-open and operate safely. He described this recent event as great news as casinos across Great Britain are now able to reopen and begin contributing back towards the UK’s economy.