Following new government plans to reopen the economy, English betting shops and other gambling establishments have been given dates on which they can reopen. Betting shops will be first on the 12th of April, with others like bingo halls and casinos following on the 17th of May.
Gambling venues across England have been closed since the 5th of January as the country was placed under a third lockdown to try to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced his Roadmap out of Lockdown at a press conference on the 22nd of February. In this, he detailed the reopening of many aspects of the English economy and other parts of daily life such as non-essential retail and leisure facilities amongst others.
While English betting shops and other gambling facilities were not explicitly mentioned in the documents thus far, it has been confirmed that they would be permitted to open in stages 2 and 3 of the roadmap.
This follows on from statements from the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) who have been lobbying the government to allow for the reopening of betting shops and casinos at the same time as many other businesses.
These new guidelines will apply to England only thus far, with the devolved governments in Wales, Northern Ireland, and Scotland expected to produce their own plans soon. The Prime Minister has said that all governments will strive to work together to lift measures and return to normal life.