BGC welcomes reopening of betting shops across England and Wales

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BGC welcomes reopening of betting shops across England and Wales

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has welcomed the reopening of betting shops in England and Wales.

On 12 April 2021, around 6,000 bookies commenced operations for the first time since December 2020, as the UK Government announced the easing of restrictions amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Outdoor dining, pub gardens, hairdressers, indoor gyms and swimming pools were also allowed to reopen.

Restrictions in betting shops remain, however, where there is no screening of live sport, while a 15-minute time limit per customer is in place. All tables and chairs have also been removed, with strict social distancing measures also mandatory.

“It’s great news that high street betting shops in England and Wales are finally able to re-open safely, along with the rest of non-essential retail,” said BGC chief executive Michael Dugher. “It’s been a long three months for betting shop staff, as well as their customers, and I know they are all looking forward to safely getting back to business thanks to the best-in-class anti-Covid measures in place.”

Dugher also highlighted the benefits the industry brings to the UK, saying: “As the recent EY report showed, the UK’s betting shops support 46,000 jobs and paid nearly £1bn in tax to the Treasury in 2020, while our members contribute £350m to horseracing through sponsorship, media rights and the betting levy.”