In the United Kingdom and the boss for the influential Betting and Gaming Council lobby group has described today’s re-opening of retail sportsbooks across Scotland as ‘another step towards normality’ for customers, staff and the wider economy.
The London-headquartered organization represents approximately 90% of British gaming, sportsbetting, casino and bingo operators and it used an official press release to reveal that some 750 land-based Scottish bookmakers have again begun trading following a four-month shutdown at the hands of the coronavirus pandemic. The enterprise’s Chief Executive, Michael Dugher (pictured), disclosed that these shops together employ around 4,000 people and pay roughly £80 million ($111 million) in tax every year alongside annual business rates in the region of £6 million ($8.3 million).
The Betting and Gaming Council detailed that sportsbetting venues in Scotland are again welcoming customers about two weeks after an analogous revival in England and Wales following the conclusion of their own 13-week lockdown. The group additionally explained that these former properties are being allowed to re-open so long as they agree to abide by a strict set of anti-coronavirus measures that include the mandatory utilization of plexiglass screens and hand sanitizer stations.
Dugher stated that the new rules from the Scottish government moreover compel re-opening bookmakers to switch off their gaming machines, lower the volumes of their in-house televisions and collect the contact details of patrons for the purposes of a nationwide test and trace program.
The Betting and Gaming Council cited official analysis from professional services firm Ernst and Young Global Limited in pronouncing that betting shops across the length and breath of the United Kingdom support something like 46,000 jobs and pay nearly £1 billion ($1.4 billion) in annual tax. It stated that this inquiry furthermore found that the industry regularly ploughs £350 million ($485 million) into local horseracing through media rights and contributions to the Horserace Betting Levy while contributing £7.7 billion ($10.7 billion) to the nation’s overall economy.
Read a statement from Dugher…
“Following the safe re-opening of betting shops in England and Wales earlier this month, Scottish shops getting back to business is another step towards normality and a welcome boost for jobs on the high street in Scotland. It’s great news for their staff and customers and of course it is an important source of funding for horseracing. As we look forward to a great summer of sport, Scottish punters will once again be able to safely enjoy a flutter on the high street.”