Hundreds of Scottish jobs on line as casino bosses launch pandemic petition call

Casino industry leaders have warned that hundreds of jobs are on the line in Scotland as they urged the Scottish Government to change its current tiering restrictions.

Vince Harvie, a 37-year-old cashier at Grosvenor Casino Edinburgh Maybury. Picture: Tony Marsh Photography
Vince Harvie, a 37-year-old cashier at Grosvenor Casino Edinburgh Maybury. Picture: Tony Marsh Photography

While pubs, bars, restaurants and cinemas are able to continue to trade in level two or below, the shutters came down on casino venues when the Scotland strategic framework was announced.

Bosses said there was “not a shred of scientific evidence” supporting the decision to keep casinos closed in level two while other hospitality venues are able to stay open.

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Now, 11 casino venues in Scotland which support more than 700 jobs, in Aberdeen, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow, have launched a petition encouraging their customers to write to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to enable the recovery of the sector.

Led by industry heavyweight Grosvenor Casinos and with the support of Genting Casinos, Caesars Entertainment and trade association Betting and Gaming Council, the campaign points to the belief that the casino industry is being unfairly singled out.

Jonathon Swaine, managing director of Grosvenor Casinos, said: “We cannot stress enough how damaging it is that casinos across Scotland are being imposed with these arbitrary restrictions.

“As an industry we provide ultra-safe venues for colleagues and customers to visit. There is not a shred of scientific evidence which supports the decision to keep casinos closed in Level 2 while other hospitality venues are able to stay open.

“If Scottish casinos are forced to remain closed it will have a devastating impact on those customers who enjoy their local venues as a community hub, on team members who will lose their jobs, on the local suppliers it serves, on the charities that they are proud to support, as well as on the wider economy which will lose millions of pounds in tax receipts.”

The casino industry in Scotland contributed £30 million in tax a year to the UK economy, but bosses argue that the “continued and unjustified” closure of casinos is threatening to shut their doors for good.

Michael Dugher, chief executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, added: “Closing them makes no sense, especially when other parts of the hospitality sector are being allowed to stay open.”

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