Casinos accuse PM of risking 6,000 jobs
‘The Government are swinging a wrecking ball right through the middle of our industry’
UP TO 6,000 jobs are at risk from Boris Johnson’s eleventh-hour reversal on reopening casinos, gambling leaders have warned.
Bosses accused the Prime Minister of “swinging a wrecking ball right through the middle of our industry” as plans to reopen casinos on Aug 1 were put on ice on Friday.
The Government has slammed the brakes on the easing of Covid restrictions amid mounting concern that the country is on the cusp of a second wave of the pandemic. The Betting and
Gaming Council (BGC) wrote to the Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor, on Friday to protest at the decision to keep casinos closed.
It said the move was “highly illogical, inconsistent and deeply damaging to those businesses and the thousands of staff they employ”. One industry insider said that it felt like casinos were “being used as a political pawn”. BGC chief executive Michael Dugher said: “The Government are swinging a wrecking ball right through the middle of our industry and large scale job losses, which ought to be unnecessary and avoidable, now look inevitable unless ministers act fast.”
Casino operators, which employ 14,000 people across 125 venues, said they had spent £6m rolling out additional measures so that they could be Covid-secure.
Being labelled “higher risk” by the Prime Minister was particularly galling, bosses said.