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Long-Awaited Reopening for Casinos

Peter Chiswell of Genting Casinos says that land-based casinos “can’t wait to get back to business” when they reopen. However, he also admits that there are still several challenges to negotiate while the safety of customers and employees remains a top priority.

Like bingo halls, casinos have suffered from ongoing temporary closures throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although casinos have previously petitioned the government to be treated the same as bars and restaurants under the various UK COVID alert levels and tiers, they have been forced to join the back of the queue along with bingo halls.

Back in August 2020, the First Minister of Wales, Mark Drakeford added further fuel to the flames by comparing casinos with nightclubs, saying they were a greater risk than pubs, bars, restaurants and cafes.

9 months later, the casino industry is finally gearing up for a grand reopening on May 17th, and the Betting and Gaming Council (which has been lobbying the government throughout the COVID-19 crisis spoke to one of its members to find out their thoughts on the challenges that land-based casinos have (and continue) to face.

The pros according to Peter Chiswell

Peter Chiswell, the Operations Director in the North of Genting Casino, says that he “cannot wait” for casino venues across England, Scotland and Wales to “finally get back to business for the first time since last year”.

The company, which employs around 4,000 staff, is excited to be getting back to work, and in England, its casinos will be able to reopen without any curfew restrictions.

The venues will all observe strict health and safety rules such as limits on player numbers, track and trace systems, social distancing rules, compulsory mask-wearing, Perspex screens on gaming tables, and hand sanitising facilities.

Staff have also been retrained to ensure that “their skills are up to scratch” and aware of the company’s new safer gambling procedures and processes.

It’s not all been plain sailing, however, as Mr Chiswell points out. For example, in Scotland, casinos have been set a 10.30 PM curfew which Mr Chiswell says is “frustrating”. He also says that the road to recovery will be a long one.

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