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UK casinos ‘standing by’ to aid economic recovery

Casinos have said they are “standing by” to aid the UK’s economic recovery – but must be allowed to re-open their doors again later this month. The venues have been closed since

March as part of the national effort to slow the spread of Covid-19. They were dealt a blow when the

Government announced they would not be allowed to open again on 4 July, unlike other parts of the hospitality, leisure and entertainment industry. That was despite casinos introducing

all of the anti-Covid measures required, including perspex screens, hand sanitisers, sophisticated track and tracing systems and strict social distancing rules. Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that businesses in the hospitality and tourism sector are to benefit from a cut in VAT from 20% to 5% until 12 January. Michael Dugher, chief executive of

the Betting and Gaming Council, welcomed the move – as well as Mr Sunak’s £1,000 job retention bonus for companies that bring staff back off furlough.

But he said the Government’s next

move must be to let casinos re-open their doors and start contributing again to the UK economy. Mr Dugher said: “We strongly

welcomed the introduction of the furlough scheme in March, and the Chancellor’s decision to extend it until the end of October, as a lifeline for our members in the leisure, entertainment and hospitality industries and the tens of thousands of people they employ. “The announcement of a £1,000 job

retention bonus for every furloughed worker brought back and continuously employed through to January is therefore good news and will help our

6 JULY 2020

members as they navigate their way out of lockdown. “The Chancellor’s decision to cut VAT

for the hospitality and tourism sectors from 20% to 5% for the next six months will potentially be an enormous boost for bingo halls and casinos. “However, in order to take advantage of this new policy, casinos must be given the green light to re-open as quickly as possible in July. At the moment, casinos are costing the Exchequer around £5 million a week while they are closed. Last year, they paid £5.7 million a week in tax. “Casinos are part of our hospitality,

leisure and entertainment industries, and they are also a significant attraction for tourists. They can reopen safely and it’s time now to let them do so. Casinos are standing by to reopen to aid the economic recovery”.

Republic Euro Games Technology is becoming part of the Czech gaming industry, opening an offi ce in Prague which sales and service operations will cover the country, including the border regions that are considered a relatively different segment in the local market. The establishment is a result of the cooperative efforts and expertise of two practitioners in the gaming fi eld with over 15 years of experience – Mr. Ivan Grigorov and Mr. Adam Vajdak. They both have managed their own casino companies before stepping into their position at EGT as General Managers of the Czech offi ce. Leading a team of 13 professionals, they will endeavor to keep the high global EGT standards and to fulfi ll their mission to provide a top range of gaming content and products, aligned to the local specifi cs. “The regional gaming market is well developed and

saturated and all domestic manufacturers have already established good image,” shared Mr. Vajdak. “Compared to some other countries though it lacks enough presence of worldwide known brands where we fi nd our potential. The gaming regulations and requirements are very strict and particular and are a serious entrance barrier for all new providers, but we are accustomed to fulfi lling exacting criteria and are confi dent that will be able to achieve satisfying results in the next several years. For the purpose we will mainly rely on EGT’s main R&D department with which we cooperate closely in tailoring our products to the local specifi cs, especially when it comes to the software. Our major advantage is the vast experience we have accumulated from our global operations, the speed of service we achieved and the good knowledge we have fi rsthand for our customers and players, as me and my partner Mr. Grigorov have been in the casino business for many years not long ago.” The Czech offi ce will provide the complete slot portfolio of

EGT, as well as the products of EGT Multiplayer and the online games of EGT Interactive.

EGT makes a start in Czech

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