Rank Group Plc has communicated its plans to reopen 44 Grosvenor Casino venues across England from 1 August, adhering to the government’s social distancing orders and public safety rules.
Grosvenor, the UK’s largest land-based casino operator, will begin the staggered reopening of a selected number of venues in England from Saturday 1 August – as Wales and Scotland’s casinos remain under lockdown orders.
Closed since mid-March, Rank leadership had pleaded for the government to allow casinos to reopen in July, alongside other leisure and hospitality venues.
However, the government denied Rank’s appeal, classifying casinos alongside nightclubs and theatres as venues that could not guarantee being ‘covid secure’ for the public.
In response to the government’s rejection, Rank CEO John O’Reilly issued a personal statement to the Treasury, stating that the ‘baffling decision’ had placed Grosvenor jobs directly at risk as it winds down its use of the national furlough scheme.
Working with the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), Rank stated that it had proved to local authorities that Grosvenor Casinos would be the safest entertainment venues on the highstreet.
Last Friday, announcing the government’s ‘final easing orders on business’, PM Boris Johnson communicated that lockdown restrictions would be lifted on England’s casinos from the start of August.
“The health and safety of our customers and teams remain our priority. We want to create the best gaming and hospitality experience which guests know and love and a lot of work has gone into ensuring we have the highest standards of hygiene and safety measures in place to do so when we reopen. We’re looking forward to welcoming customers back to Grosvenor Casino clubs across the country very soon,” Jonathon Swaine, MD of Grosvenor Casinos, said.