Hello and welcome to the SBC News 90, here’s the top stories of the day:
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has been warned by UK casino leaders that “hundreds of jobs’” are at risk following news that Scottish casino venues are to shut temporarily.
New COVID-19 emergency measures mean that casinos in any Scottish region placed under ‘Level 2’ restrictions should close entirely.
John O’Reilly, chief executive of Rank Group which operates Grosvenor Casinos, said the company is seeking parity with pubs, which can remain open if they serve meals. O’Reilly stressed that casinos were willing to stop selling alcohol if this would avoid closure.
GVC Holdings says UK’s imminent four-week lockdown will cost the operator an estimated 37 million pounds.
England’s retail closure alone will cost the group a 27 million pounds, while closing its Eurobet Italia and Ladbrokes Belgium subsidiaries would cost a further 10 million pounds.
If the governments of Wales and Scotland replicate England’s lockdown measures, a full UK retail closure would cost GVC 34 million pounds – leading to combined UK and European retail losses of 43 million.
The British Horseracing Authority is pushing the UK government for clarity on racetrack restrictions as a fresh lockdown looms.
The government has confirmed that ‘elite sports can continue behind closed doors’. BHA Chief Executive Nick Rust said he would fight hard to maintain owners and runners’ presence within UK racecourses but underlined that no guarantees could be made.