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Halt on UK Casino Reopening slammed by CEO of The Hippodrome

Tags: Coronavirus, United Kingdom.
Posted on 03 August 2020 by "T".

UK casinos will not be allowed to open as expected under original government plans.

They were forced to shut down on March 23 because of the COVID-19, and a recent announcement by the prime minister has disappointed yet again those keen to get back to dealing the cards.

Prime minister Boris Johnson said on July 4 that some leisure and hospitality businesses were allowed to reopen, but casinos were not included among them.

UK casinos were scheduled to reopen on August 1 and England. However, on July 31 Johnson announced that they will remain closed until August 15 "at the earliest" after the government decided to postpone further easing of lockdown measures.

The delay affects not only casinos but also bowling alleys, skating rinks, big wedding and party receptions, and other "higher-risk settings". A list of other restrictions on social gatherings were imposed, which Johnson said were required to avoid a return to full national lockdown. He said, "We should now squeeze the brake pedal in order to keep the virus under control. We must keep our focus and we can't be complacent."

A stinging statement on the UK government's refusal to allow England casinos to reopen as scheduled on August 1 has been delivered by Simon Thomas, CEO of the Hippodrome, London's biggest casino.

He said, "It was an appalling, harmful, expensive, wasteful, illogical, last-minute decision. Reopening a business of our size is a complex process that takes weeks of preparation - you don't just switch on the lights.

"We have taken hundreds of our staff off furlough and retrained them. We have prepared the business with full hygiene and safety measures; our kitchens, bars and gaming rooms are stocked and ready to open.

"The investment in reopening a business like mine - the largest entertainment venue in the West End of London - is frankly enormous. And putting it on hold also costs significant amounts.

"And the impact on my staff is significant; most have been off for months and bringing them back in has given them an emotional boost. The disappointment here now is profound. We also had hundreds of customers excited to be allowed to come back to a place they enjoy, who are likewise disappointed.

Importantly, during lockdown we continued with a major £3m infrastructure project to triple the size of our outdoor terrace, surely the best indication of our confidence in London and our determination to rebuild our business after lockdown. That confidence is starting to look questionable in the light of the government's actions.

The stated government strategy is let businesses reopen and have local reaction to local issues. Is the government now abandoning this strategy? There is no logic to this. Nothing has changed in London and this kind of decision should continue to be made on a case by case basis dependant on location, not sector. If there are problems in Manchester, close premises in Manchester, not a whole sector across the country.

The party line is that the government will follow evidence and heed medical advice, yet casinos are lower risk than many sectors that have already reopened. The relevant government departments have confirmed they are happy with casinos' Covid-19 safe preparations and policies, and have given casinos their approval to reopen.

All in all I gutted and am feeling very let down by the government."



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10 comments on "Halt on UK Casino Reopening slammed by CEO of The Hippodrome"

 maragatero04/08/2020 00:47:19 GMT
Finally, the common sense wins! No one government wants to be remembered like the responsible of thousand of preventable death. And Boris Johnson be there, he was hardly affected by the virus and he had a hard time and was narrowly saved. Instead of his deep belief in neoliberalism and the priority of the business, he isn´t dope. Good for him! Including Donald Trump is becoming his virus negation...
 CALICUL04/08/2020 07:54:02 GMT
This thing will not be to the liking of bettors in United Kingdom. They risk a lot of money in all sports or even in other oddities, where they bet. It's not nice but situation is paradoxical. Anyway, i'm very curious what will be this fall / winter.
 dule-vu04/08/2020 12:16:58 GMT
finally they see whats happening and that they cant allow people to come to gamble in casinos or places like this and not to allow people to go in pubs or football games!if other people cant,that its right that they dont go gamble!we will see what will happen in next months!
 antonis32104/08/2020 18:13:05 GMT
They said they were going to reopen casinos , now they changed their minds and postponed it for 15 days ?? Man , these back and forth , this indecisiveness I cannot understand at ll . As the Ceo of this casino said , many other businesses with higher risk , or without so many disinfection and protection methods , have opened , the casinos in UK why not ???
 maragatero05/08/2020 01:06:07 GMT
Oh, these stupid government making all this annoying measure to save lives. I don´t know how they don´t hear to the owners of Casinos and their selfless opinions. Why don´t hear people who have the best idea about public health and ways to protect life? Why don´t hear the bettors, who don´t care about their own life and are trying to bet about to be infected and die or to be infected and feel the death near his bed? How can they be so dope?
 CALICUL05/08/2020 08:02:06 GMT
Man, don't you really realize that there were protests in many countries where thousands of people or even over a million (Germany) protested in the street and most did not wear masks? They did not get sick and mass media lied too much.Televisions have been exaggerating for a long time... Don't be scared for no concrete reason.
 antonis32105/08/2020 19:55:52 GMT
A postponement for 15 days doens't make any sense . Cause what will happen or won't happen in 15 days ?? A mystery Many other businesses are already open , casinos why not ??? In casinos they can use the best of the disinfection methods and provide secure invironment for the players , this acan also happen in the hotels where players stay . No need to create problems to these businesses , enough financial damage they have already suffered
 CALICUL06/08/2020 08:50:07 GMT
It doesn't matter how long it is closed because England will pay certain damages for those who lose money during this time(racetrack,competitors). You see there it is well calculated. Foreign citizens who did not have a job at the time, when it was forbidden to walk on the street due to coronavirus... also received money.
 antonis32106/08/2020 21:58:25 GMT
Employees have been retrained to come back with the new conditiond and measures and work again , now these postponements do only harm , to them and the businesses . UK goverment has money to support the people who cannot carry on working due to the restrictions , but for how long until they see their budget is running out of money ?? Better people go to work and all businesses , casinos as well , go back to normality .
 CALICUL07/08/2020 09:17:10 GMT
It is best for good doctors to tell the truth and stop playing many games of corrupt politicians, who are obliged by New World Order to manipulate all planet population. I am dismayed that economy is collapsing and many people are in trouble...

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