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Betting Shops in Scotland Re-Open After Four Inactive Months
Betting shops in Scotland have opened their doors to the public four months after they were shut down. This was after the shops were closed due to restrictions imposed in Scotland aimed at reducing the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). The betting shops reopened on 26 April 2021.
Closure Period Comes to an End After Four Inactive Months
After four months of inactivity, over 750 regulated betting shops reopened in Scotland. This is after the Scottish government relaxed measures set to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The reopening of the betting shops coincided with non-essential retail shops. These shops were forced to close their doors to the public on 26 December 2020.
This is good news, especially for people employed by these shops. Nearly 4,000 people relied on these shops as employees as reported by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC). The government is also bound to reap the fruits of relaxed measures in terms of taxes and business rates. The BGC puts £80m as the amount paid in taxes by the shops and £6m as business rates.
However, the reopening doesn’t include access to gaming machines. These areas will remain inaccessible in line with the ongoing restrictions. Furthermore, televisions within the shops must be on low volume. Customers are also required to submit their details to help the government in its testing and tracing program.
Betting Shops in Wales and England Re-opened Two Weeks Earlier
Betting shops in England and Wales reopened two weeks earlier than the Scottish shops. Similar to the situation in Scotland, stakeholders must follow a plethora of rules. For instance, the maximum capacity a facility can handle is to be determined depending on the property’s size.
Shops are also expected to operate without live sports images. Furthermore, players will have access to two gaming machines at any given time. There will be no chairs as well within the premises. Customers are restricted to only two visits per day and the shops will close at 8 pm.
According to the BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher, the safe re-opening of high street sportsbooks in Wales and England earlier in April is a good sign. He added that opening betting shops in Scotland is a step toward returning to normalcy. Mr. Dugher also pointed out the impact the re-opening has on jobs.
He concluded his statement by acknowledging the anticipation punters have for the summer filled with sports. The Chief Executive added that players will be able to enjoy safe gambling at these shops as the sports near.
Scotland casinos are yet to feel the joy of re-opening, at least until June. This was after the government settled on opening these facilities once the country hits “level two” with the coronavirus situation.
The determination by the government was met with force criticism by the BGC last month. According to the body, it’s absurd to reopen restaurants and pubs at level three while casinos have to wait. Dr. Lisa Acklerley, a hygiene expert said the decision didn’t bear any scientific or logical reason.