The Betting and Gaming Council has welcomed confirmation that Scottish casinos will reopen their doors next week, following several pleas for clarity for the approximately 800 employees across 11 establishments.

Having been shut down since March as part of the effort to slow down the spread of coronavirus, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed the reopening for August 24 as part of the latest easing of lockdown in the country.

Said to have been working “round the clock” to ensure premises’ are safe to re-open for both staff and customers, measures implemented include perspex screens, hand sanitisation stations, track and trace regimes and strict social distancing guidelines.

Michael Dugher, BGC chief executive, suggested that the Scottish Government deserves credit for listening to businesses, however, he added ministers should continue to engage with the sector to ensure ongoing restrictions are practical and necessary.

“This is welcome news and the Scottish Government deserves credit for listening to businesses,” Dugher explained.

“Like their colleagues in England, Scottish casinos have gone above and beyond what was required of them to ensure they comply with all of the government’s COVID guidelines.

“Scottish casino workers can now look forward to providing an excellent service to their many customers and doing their bit in supporting the UK’s economic recovery.

“I would urge the Scottish Government to continue engaging with the sector to understand the anti-COVID measures they have in place – which are superior to much of the rest of the hospitality, leisure and entertainment industries – to ensure proposed restrictions meet safety requirements but are practical and necessary.

“I would also call on the Welsh government to follow England and Scotland’s lead by giving their casinos the green light to open their doors again.”

This announcement follows the reopening of casinos in England on August 15. Between them, the UK’s 125 casinos employ 14,000 people and contribute £300m a year to the Treasury in tax.