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Poker news | Apr 09, 2021

UK Casinos Finally Set to Reopen After COVID Shutdowns

By RTR Dennis

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The UK has been on a strict lockdown in recent months due to COVID restrictions. However, lawmakers finally appear ready to loosen restrictions on many industries, including casinos.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has released a COVID roadmap that calls for “non-essential stores” to reopen by April 12. Meanwhile, casinos will be reopening on May 17 if all goes according to plan.

This roadmap isn’t set in stone, but Johnson also said that he doesn’t want to go backward once various industries have been officially reopened.

British Casinos Fully Functional by June

The plan is for UK casinos to launch in mid-May. Near the end of June, they’ll be fully functional will no more “limits on social contact.”

Johnson’s plan is great news for casinos, which have struggled to pull in revenue amid strict COVID limits. Some of the restrictions include social distancing, limited operating capacity, and mask-wearing policies.

Tough Times for the Casino Industry

The UK went into a stricter lockdown in March 2020 after rising COVID numbers. Casinos briefly reopened in the spring and summer months of 2020. However, lockdown stages/levels have only gotten worse, topping out at the current level 4 rating in many counties.

Casinos tried their best to stay open by proposing to not sell alcohol and change their opening hours. Nevertheless, lawmakers still ordered gambling establishments to close once again by November.

Will UK Casino Gaming Rebound After So Much Damage?

Just because the UK is reopening casinos doesn’t mean that a boom is guaranteed. Many gaming venues have lost serious money ever since being forced to shut down their operations.

The Rank Group, owner of Grosvenor Casinos, lost £10 million per month during the first lockdown. Meanwhile, over 100 casinos throughout the country reported difficulty remaining operable with no revenue coming in.

Unfortunately, these same companies aren’t going to see relief immediately. It does, however, seem like major changes will be coming by May and June.

Will the Summer of COVID Freedom Really Happen?

Boris’ roadmap is being dubbed as the summer of COVID freedom. However, nothing is to say that another big COVID wave won’t happen between now and then.

After all, many within the gaming industry had hoped that the COVID troubles were behind everybody when casinos began opening in the spring of 2020.

Hopefully, though, the numbers stay down and gaming establishments are able to open once again. After all, the industry could really use a boost after getting financially battered for well over a year.