The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has praised the reopening of UK casinos.
Over 100 casinos across England, Scotland, and Wales have been allowed to reopen today (May 17th) for the first time this year as part of the easing of Covid-19 restrictions across the UK.
Casinos reopening today still face anti-Covid measures, with customers requiring to follow social distancing rules, use hand sanitiser, and use face masks too.
Meanwhile, casinos in Scotland are required to close at 10.30 PM and are not allowed to sell alcohol. Venues in Glasgow, however, will remain closed with the city remaining under Level 3 restrictions.
According to the BGC’s post celebrating the news, Britain’s casinos employ over 11,000 people and in the year before the pandemic, contributed £500 million to the Treasury in tax. London’s casinos, meanwhile, contributed £120 million to the city’s tourism sector.
In addition to the reopening of casinos, the anti-Covid measures imposed on betting shops in England are being lifted too, such as the ban on showing televised sport. Meanwhile, customers at betting shops in Scotland, which the exception of those in Glasgow and Moray, will be allowed to use gaming machines for the first time.
An Ernst and Young report states that betting shops across the UK support 46,000 jobs, pay almost £1 billion a year in tax to the Treasury, and contribute £350 million to the horseracing industry. The betting industry also contributes £7.7 billion to the economy in gross value added.
Michael Dugher, the Chief Executive of the BGC, praised the news after having earlier called on the UK Government to reopen casinos after lockdown.
He said in a statement: “It’s great news that most of the UK’s casinos are finally able to reopen – and is a testament to the hard work that staff have put in making them Covid-secure.
“As well as providing excellent entertainment for their customers, casinos are a major contributor to the UK economy, something which will be vital in the months ahead as the Government tries to repair the damage done to the nation’s finances by Covid-19.”
He added: “I am also delighted that the restrictions imposed on betting shops are being lifted. Their safe-reopening in April has been a huge success and this is [a] further reward for the efforts they have made to ensure their premises are Covid-secure.”
Meanwhile, leading gambling operator Betway has announced a multi-year sponsorship with the National Hockey League. The partnership began over the weekend with the launch of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Under the sponsorship, the Betway logo will be displayed during NHL game broadcasts via corner in-ice brand positioning and a camera-visible dashboard, iGamingBusiness reports.
The signage placement will be featured in all games of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs, including the Stanley Cup Final, and they will continue throughout the duration of the firms’ partnership.
In addition to the above, Betway will receive a corner in-ice brand position at NHL tentpole events, such as the NHL All-Star Weekend, the NHL Winter Classic, and the NHL Stadium Series too.
Finally, Betway will have the rights to use NHL marks, logos, and official designations under the sponsorship, as well as access to NHL-controlled media assets.
Keith Wachtel, the NHL Chief Business Officer and Senior Vice President, said in a statement: “The Stanley Cup playoffs is the most exciting two months in sports and delivers a tremendous opportunity for fan engagement on a global basis.
“With the sports betting category continuing to evolve at a rapid pace, we’re thrilled to launch our new partnership with Betway at this very exciting time of our season. Betway has a very aggressive growth strategy and are an ideal partner to engage with our avid fan base.”
Anthony Werkman, the CEO at Betway, added: “It’s an incredibly proud moment as we announce our first North American sports league partnership with the NHL.
“Starting with the Stanley Cup playoffs, the Betway brand will receive major exposure to sports fans around the globe and that will continue at other NHL tentpole events throughout the calendar, which is hugely exciting for us.”
This week, leading game developer Pragmatic Play has announced a content partnership with gambling operator 32Red, owned by Kindred Group, as part of a move to extend its player reach across the UK market.
Under the new agreement, Pragmatic Play is now providing 32Red with its entire selection of video slots and jackpots, including The Hand Of Midas, Book Of Tut, and Book Of Kingdoms too.
Bhotesh Maheshwari, the Vice President of Commercial Strategy and Operations at Pragmatic Play, said in a statement: “32Red is a key player in the UK market, so we are delighted to announce our partnership with the brand.
“Our portfolio offers operator partners a wide selection of cutting-edge games designed for players of all tastes, and we look forward to seeing where this relationship takes us.”
Adam Newnham, the Commercial Operations Manager at 32Red, added: “We are extremely excited to launch Pragmatic Play’s immersive content on as we continue to expand our offering of games at 32Red.
“We expect Pragmatic Play’s content to go down a treat with our audience and look forward to a successful collaboration moving forward.”
The news comes just as Pragmatic Play has struck a similar agreement with Latin American operator Juega En Linea. Under this agreement, Pragmatic Play’s video slots, live casino, and virtual sports content have all been made available with the gambling operator, allowing the developer to boost its reach across Latin America.
Victor Arias, the Vice President of Latin American Operations at Pragmatic Play, said in a statement: “Juega En Linea has a sterling reputation and a wide customer base across Latin America, and we’re very pleased to have partnered with them.”
Jhorvis Perez, the General Manager at Juega En Linea, added: “We’re continually seeking for innovative content and by partnering with Pragmatic Play we’re able to diversify our offering across three verticals. With such a plethora of titles for our fans to enjoy, we can’t wait to enjoy this partnership as we grow together.”