British Government Shuts Down Betting Shops Temporarily

British Government Shuts Down Betting Shops Temporarily

In order to fight the coronavirus/COVID-19 outbreak, the British government has forced all betting shops in the country to shut down for two weeks. The guidelines will be effective immediately.

New guidelines to fight off COVID-19

The new set of guidelines by the British government is designed to combat the COVID-19 outbreak which is spreading far and wide across the globe. The government has ordered all non-essential businesses to shut down immediately which includes leisure centers, casinos, cinemas, pubs, museums, etc. It would also include betting shops and casinos.

British Government Shuts Down Betting Shops Temporarily

The government is following the policy of social distancing and aiming to keep social contact to the minimum by closing down businesses. By reducing social gatherings by 75%, the government hopes to prevent the transmission of the highly infectious virus. This could also help them reduce pressure on the NHS, which may not be prepared to sustain the increased number of patients in their facilities.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson released a statement, saying,

“The speed of our eventual recovery depends entirely on our collective ability to get on top of the virus now and that means we have to take the next steps on scientific advice. And following our plan we are strengthening the measures announced on Monday. We need now to push down further on that curve of transmission between us.”

Operators are in a loss

British gambling operators are suffering a huge loss in the midst of the pandemic. Most major British gambling companies like Flutter Entertainment and William Hill have already suggested that their 2020 revenue expectations will be falling short if retail shops are shut down for just one month. They suggest that the financial impact of this shut down could be to the tune of £110 million. Every additional month of the shutdown will cost their business £30 million.

The largest chain of betting shops in the UK is operated by Ladbrokes Coral owner GVC. The company expects £150 million of revenue drop in the first month of shutdown, followed by a loss of £50 million for every additional month of a shutdown. The company will be the most severely hit because of the closing down of retail betting shops but it released a statement on its website supporting the decision.

The company noted that employee and public safety is important in these times. Note that the online sports betting business of these operators is also in the doldrums as there are no major sporting events to bet on.

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