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BGC CEO: casinos need Covid-19 “reassurance”

| By Marese O'Hagan
Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has called for financial support for casinos in the event that they are impacted by the introduction of any new Covid-19 restrictions.
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Currently Government guidelines advise limiting unnecessary contacts, as the Omicron variant of Covid-19 continues to spread.

Michael Dugher, chief executive of the BGC, noted that casinos are an essential part of the hospitality industry and called on Chancellor Rishi Sunak to deliver a economic package for businesses, particularly hospitality, similar to those offered during lockdowns.

“Casinos are a major economic contributor to the UK, as well as an integral part of the hospitality industry,” said Dugher.

Dugher added that if any restrictions were brought in, these would have a “significant impact” on casinos.

“After a gruelling 18 months, they have started to recover from the various impositions, including prolonged closures and travel bans, but they are now understandably concerned that further restrictions over Christmas and into the New Year will have a significant impact on their recovery.”

The BGC reports that an estimated 11,600 people are currently employed in the 120 casinos in the UK, paying £600m in tax and £1.2bn to the economy.

Dugher stated that casinos simply want “reassurances” in the event of further restrictions.

“Casinos, like many others in the hospitality industry, are simply seeking reassurances that if the pandemic requires yet more severe restrictions, that they will be adequately supported by government.”

Earlier today, members of the BGC outlined targets for corporate social responsibility, which include engaging with the local community and minimising environmental impact, as part of its 2021 CSR report.

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