Although UK casinos have had to wait in line longer than bingo halls to reopen following the further easing of lockdown restrictions, the majority of casino venues in England, Scotland, and Wales are now either open or planning to reopen in the coming days and weeks.
One of the biggest casualties of the COVID-19 lockdown has been Grosvenor Casinos, which is estimated to have lost £1.5m per week while its venues were forced to close.
However, it looks like the well-known brand may finally be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel as it’s brought back the majority of its 4,600 furloughed employees and is now well and truly back in business.
It’s also great to hear that the company, which owns 51 casinos across England, Wales and Scotland, has no plans to make any of its staff redundant.
Jonathon Swaine is the managing director of Grosvenor and he’s recently said that business is slowly picking up after four months of lockdown.
It’s believed that the company’s furloughed employees cost the taxpayer £1.5m a week, which is the same figure that’s the UK Exchequer is reported to have lost through lost gaming taxes.
While four Grosvenor casinos opened in Scotland on 24th August and two in Wales opened on 29th August, the casino in Leicester was forced to stay closed due to the local lockdown in the city following a peak in COVID-19 cases last month. Mr. Swaine hopes to reopen the venue (which employs 112 staff) as soon as possible. Another six Grosvenor casinos in Huddersfield and Greater Manchester are also temporarily closed as a result of local lockdowns.
Despite significant financial setbacks, Jonathon Swaine remains positive about the company’s future, saying “we have a strong balance sheet”. He also hopes to reassure anyone who’s reluctant to return to their local casino by confirming that all Grosvenor casinos are now “ultra-safe” environments that use flexi-glass screens, one-way systems, ID tracking and heightened cleaning regimes.