Following last week's announcement of more Buzz Bingo and Mecca Bingo Halls opening, there is some good news for bingo fans North of the Border.
After a long four months of lockdown and some disheartening false dawns, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has given an indicative reopening date for the 24th of August.
The latest date has been warmly welcomed by the Scottish bingo community who have had to endure watching many bingo halls reopen in England, Wales and Northern Ireland already.
Also scheduled to reopen per the four-phase reopening plan set in Scotland, are the 11 casinos there which employ around 800 people.
The news was welcomed by Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) who said:
“We are delighted that casinos and bingo halls in Scotland have finally been given a date to re-open.
“They have demonstrated their commitment to ensuring the safety of their staff and customers, and it’s great that this has been recognised by the Scottish Government.
“We’re already looking forward to casinos in England opening their doors again this weekend, and I hope that their Welsh colleagues will soon be receiving the same good news.
“I’m also very pleased that the Scottish Government has listened to our concerns about betting shops having to switch off their gaming machines. It’s great that they will be back on again from 24 August.”
English Casinos Reopening Postponed
It was not such good news for casino fans in England. Casinos in England are to remain closed until at least the 15th of August after the government postponed the further easing of lockdown measures as the country fights the coronavirus pandemic.
Whilst betting shops reopened on the 15th of June and bingo halls started reopening on July 4th, Casinos were expected to reopen on August 1st. However, the government has now delayed the planned easing of measures on larger indoor venues, with these now set to stay shut until at least August 15th.
The BGC has been lobbying hard for the UK government to give the green light to reopen having been closed since March 30th. The latest news was not greeted kindly by the casino sector which employs around 14000 directly and another 4000 indirectly. It was also not taken well by the BGC CEO Michael Dugher, who said:
“This latest fiasco represents a huge blow to the casino industry which will now have remained closed for nearly five months,”
“Casinos are a fundamental part of our leisure, hospitality, entertainment, and tourism industry
Meanwhile, the Welsh government is yet to announce a reopening date for its casinos. Expect more updates soon.