Scotland has finally announced a provisional date for casinos to reopen following lobbying from the industry.
Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has announced a provisional date of August 24 for casinos, amusement arcades and bingo halls in the country to reopen.
The schedule is part of a series of intended “indicative dates” for different types of businesses to reopen as Scotland continues to phase in the third stage of its four-stage lifting of lockdown restrictions, which requires people to wear face masks and maintain two-metre distancing in public.
The date may be changed if the government decides Covid-19 cases remain too high.
Casinos, bingo halls and amusement arcades will be able to open provided they introduce enhanced hygiene measures and physical distancing.
Betting shops, which reopened on June 29, will also be able to switch on gaming machines again from the same date.
The Betting and Gaming Council had lobbied for the government to commit to a date to allow Scotland’s 11 casinos to reopen. Together the casinos employ around 800 people.
BGC Chief Executive, Michael Dugher, said: “[Casinos] 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.
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.”
Casinos in England were due to reopen on Saturday, August 1, but a last-minute decision by the British government did not allow them to do so.
In Wales government has yet to announce an intended reopening date.