The land-based gambling industry has again been forced shut in England as the Government announced the country is entering a third national lockdown amid a rise in coronavirus cases.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a stay at home order for the public in England on 4 January, much like the first lockdown in March, with people only allowed to leave their homes for limited reasons.
This includes only venturing outside for limited exercise and work where it is “unreasonable to work from home” with no social gatherings between households permitted.
Only essential businesses can stay open including supermarkets, pharmacies, and places of worship, while non-essential shops must close such as pubs, restaurants and gyms, and schools have moved to remote and online learning.
As such all bingo halls, casinos and betting shops in England have been told to close once again with the new rules to be reviewed on 15 February. It follows more than 58,700 cases being recorded on Monday, the seventh day in a row more than 50,000 new cases have been confirmed.
However, the biggest difference from the first lockdown is that professional sport in England is allowed to continue behind closed doors.
That means the English Premier League and other elite leagues in the country can continue, up until level six of the country’s football pyramid.
While the continuation of elite sport will come as a relief to operators, the closures of all casinos and betting shops will hit the industry hard, after the majority reopened in December following a second national lockdown in November.
Betting shops initially reopened on 15 June after being closed from 23 March, while casinos only reopened in August. The introduction of the tiered system in the autumn saw venues located in tier 3 and 4 close, but now the entire land-based industry must prepare for at least six weeks of closures.