Casinos in England are preparing to reopen their doors after another national lockdown, but their Scottish counterparts aren’t so lucky.
Under the UK’s devolved power structure, national governments have a certain amount of control over their own affairs. As such, Scotland has the power to order its own COVID-19 restrictions.
The current measures mean casinos in Scotland will remain closed while many in parts of neighboring England get back to business from December 2.
Casinos in Scotland Are COVID-Secure
The immediate and long-term damage caused by a seemingly endless cycle of lockdowns has forced operators to unite. Genting Casinos, Grosvenor, and Caesars Entertainment have launched an impromptu lobbying effort called The Chips Are Down.
Backed by the slogan, “Save Our Casinos, Save Our Jobs,” the campaign is trying to raise awareness of the dire situation casinos in Scotland are in. For the trio of operators, the threat of job losses and closures is now very real.
The group wants to overturn the enforced closure order for venues in so-called Tier 2 regions. Casinos are categorized in the same bracket as other “non-essential” businesses and are, therefore, required to remain closed while lockdown restrictions are in place.
Genting, Grosvenor, and Caesars argue that their venues are as safe, if not safer, than businesses allowed to remain open.
“Despite casinos working hard to ensure all venues are COVID-19 secure, and that customers and team members will be safe through scrupulous hygiene measures, PPE and social distancing, current Scottish Government restrictions means casinos must close their doors in Level 2. This makes no sense. Casinos are being singled out unfairly,” reads the campaign’s mission statement.
The appeal to Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon goes beyond emotion and a sense of fairness. The group is also asking Sturgeon to use common logic. The mission statement highlights a list of irrefutable facts that show casinos in Scotland are COVID-secure.
- Out of 30,000 admissions in recent months, just one case of COVID-19 can be traced back to a casino in Scotland.
- 87% of customers said they feel safer in casinos than they do in other entertainment venues not affected by Scotland’s COVID restrictions.
Operators Need Your Help
We know from casinos in England that shutdowns can cost up to £10 million per month. We’ve also seen poker room closures and redundancies in England, Scotland, and Wales. By all measures, the live casino sector across the UK is suffering.
Scotland, however, is suffering more than most as current restrictions mean casinos will remain closed while those in other parts of the UK are open.
Those behind The Chips are Down campaign want everyone to contact Scottish leader Nicola Sturgeon. To make things as easy as possible, the group has drafted a letter.
All people have to do is enter their name, email address, and why they enjoy visiting casinos. The email will go directly to the First Minister’s office.
To find out more about the campaign and support casinos in Scotland, you can visit the Chips Are Down website here.