BGC criticises Scottish government's midnight casino curfews

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has condemned plans to impose a midnight curfew on casinos within Scotland.


The decision was made late in the day by PM Nicola Sturgeon, who laid out plans for Scotland to transition to Level 0 covid-19 restrictions on 19 July.

The curfew applies to all hospitality venues, however the BGC casinos will be hit particularly hard as more than half of revenue is made after 10pm.

BGC chief executive Michael Dugher said: “Scottish casino operators have once again had the rug pulled from under their feet by this bizarre decision. The casino industry has been forced to withstand a series of inexplicable decisions by politicians within the past year and is now coming to terms with yet another setback.

“The brutal truth is that a curfew is disastrous for casinos and we were under the impression that a move to Level 0 would see the curfew finally removed next week, but that’s no longer the case.”

The curfew is set to be implemented despite the findings from a report by Dr. Lisa Ackerley which found that the anti-covid measures employed by casinos made them “as safe, if not safer” than other hospitality venues.

The BGC were also critical of the Scottish government's original plans for re-opening casinos back in March.

Dugher added: “The goalposts have changed time and again, which is grossly unfair on the colleagues and operators who have worked so hard to make casinos Covid-safe. Given that casinos do most of their business after 10pm, forcing them to close at midnight is economically self-harming and shows a complete misunderstanding of the casino industry.

“I would urge Nicola Sturgeon to re-think this decision as soon as possible, and remove the uncertainty she has placed over the hundreds of hardworking staff employed by Scottish casinos.”