UK betting, casino operators now included in coronavirus rates relief

UK betting and casino operators will get some financial relief from the government after all, according to the local industry association.

On Wednesday, the Betting & Gaming Council (BGC) issued a statement welcoming “confirmation that our members will qualify for a business rates holiday like all other businesses in the retail, leisure and hospitality industry.”

Last week, the BGC lamented the revelation that betting shops and casinos were somehow ineligible to apply for the government’s plan to exempt retail and hospitality businesses from paying business rates for a year. The rates relief was intended to lessen the financial fallout from the reduction in business volume caused by the mounting COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

That ineligibility looked even less justifiable after the government ordered the closure of all non-essential ‘social venues’ last Friday, including betting shops, bingo halls and casinos. But sanity has apparently returned (if only temporarily) to parliament, and the BGC welcomed its members’ inclusion in the government’s “unprecedented response to the threat posed to millions of jobs from the coronavirus.”

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