Betting shops set to reopen in Scotland with restricted service on Monday week
Betting shops in Scotland are set to reopen on June 29 but will not be allowed to show live races.
Retail bookmakers will be offering a transactional service only, with a ban on chairs to discourage people from gathering.
A letter written by cabinet secretary for finance Kate Forbes to the Betting and Gaming Council chief executive Michael Dugher said fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) would also be switched off.
Forbes wrote: “With regards to your query of when your members will be permitted to reopen, it is anticipated that betting shops will be able to reopen in Phase 2 for the purpose of placing bets only, with no chairs and no televisions showing live races. This aims to avoid clusters of people gathering to watch live sport.
“Gambling machines should also be switched off to avoid spread through surface transmission. Confirmation will be issued in due course as to when the rest of the adult gaming industry may reopen.”
GVC, owner of Ladbrokes and Coral, said in a statement on Friday: “We are disappointed that we’ve had no clear advice or guidance on re-opening our Scottish shops. This is inconsistent with our English estate which is open for business and operating strict social-distancing measures to protect our colleagues and our customers. We will continue to seek clarification from the Scottish Government on this issue.”
Betting shops in Britain reopened on Monday with a range of social distancing and protective measures including limits on customers and sneeze screens.
In Ireland, the situation has been more chaotic with betting operators initially under the impression they would reopen retail businesses from Monday, then Paddy Power and Ladbrokes realised that was not the case and promptly closed their shops the following day.
Bookmakers in Ireland have since followed government guidelines and betting shops have remained closed.
Racing in Scotland will return for the first time in more than three months at Ayr on Monday after government on Thursday gave the green light to professional sport resuming behind closed doors.
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