Adult Gaming Centres will not be permitted to reopen on Monday, June 15, as previously announced due to a Government last-minute decision.
Last-minute reopening U-turn shocks English Adult Gaming Centres.
Adult gaming centres (AGCs) in England will not, after all, be permitted to reopen on Monday, June 15, as previously announced by the government as one of the non-essential businesses retail businesses being brought back into action.
The U-turn has come as a major shock to AGC companies who were well into their preparations to reopen on Monday. What is even more galling for them is that high street bookmaker’s shops – their principal competition – are being allowed to reopen.
Trade association BACTA has asked its members to urgently call upon any political contact that they may have, from local councillors to MPs, to impress upon the Prime Minister Boris Johnson that a serious mistake has been made and must be immediately reversed.
It was on May 11 that the government said that amusement arcades (this was subsequently clarified to exclude FECs) could reopen on June 15, but it was only last night that news came through that the decision had been reversed.
Betting shops had also been included in the May 11 guidance, giving the date for reopening. The similarity between bookies’ shops and AGCs is such that the decision to treat them differently will be a major cause for upset among operators.
Many AGC operators have invested heavily in personal protection equipment for their staff and put into place health and safety measures of the highest order to protect customers and most are now prepared for Monday’s reopening with staff taken off furloughing and machines re-floated.
Decisions on the reopening of amusement and gaming premises in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, are taken separately by their own governments.