The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has urged the UK government to extend the coronavirus furlough scheme to help safeguard jobs within the gambling sector and protect casino venues. The scheme is set to finish at the end of October, with some aspects of the initiative already being wound down.
From this month, UK employers must pay the national insurance and pension contributions for their staff. In September they will also be required to pay 20% of employees’ wages, rising to 40% in October.
“Some of Britain’s most iconic casinos, attracting high spending visitors from around the world, are sitting idly whilst pubs and restaurants around the corner are open and doing a roaring trade. The Government must step in to save these businesses before it’s too late,” said BGC Chief Executive Michael Dugher.
Casinos were initially scheduled to reopen on 1st August, however, on 31st July, this decision was reversed due to concerns over rising numbers of coronavirus cases. The BGC pointed out that the delay has cost the industry over £14 million, and casinos spent close to £6 million to implement new safety standards.
Venues will be permitted to reopen from 15th August at the earliest.