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BETTING shops and bookies are closed under the third lockdown because they are classed as non-essential retail.
Only essential retailers are allowed to stay open, including supermarkets, newsagents and bike stores.
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Betting shops are closed under the third lockdownCredit: PA:Press Association
Prime Minister Boris Johnson will today reveal his roadmap out of lockdown, where it’s expected he will announce when non-essential shops can welcome back customers.
So when could betting shops reopen? We explain what we know so far.
When will betting shops reopen?
The PM is expected to allow non-essential shops to reopen towards the end of April.
However, we won’t know this for sure until Mr Johnson confirms his roadmap out of lockdown in the House of Commons at 3.30pm, and later as part of a Downing Street conference at 7pm.
It is also understood that steps out of lockdown will be dependent on the continued fall in death and infection rates.
At the moment, only shops that are deemed essential by the government are allowed to open.
This includes stores that sell important goods such as food, medicines and DIY equipment for home repairs.
What will the rules be when betting shops reopen?
We will know more details about the reopening of non-essential retail later today when Mr Johnson reveals his March to Freedom roadmap.
But when bookies reopened from mid-June last year, punters had to follow a number of rules to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Shops had to complete a risk assessment as well as consult with workers and trade union representatives to ensure the business can operate safely.
Bosses needed to ensure that branches were cleaned regularly and protective coverings were placed on items regularly touched by the public.
Customers had to social distance in branches.
What are the signs of a gambling addiction?
THE signs of a gambling problem are often the same as the signs of other addictions. Common signs of addiction include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Feeling the need to be secretive about gambling,
- Having trouble controlling gambling habits,
- Gambling when you cannot afford to,
- Your friends and family express concern about your gambling.
As with any other addiction, the hallmark sign of a gambling problem is that you feel you cannot stop.
If you feel like you need to try just one more time, or if you feel anxious when you think about quitting, it is highly likely you are suffering from a gambling addiction.
Excessive gambling often causes a multitude of emotional symptoms, including anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts and tendencies.
Stores managed this by limiting the number of people allowed into the betting shops at any one time and markers were placed on the floor to help customers stay two metres apart.
You also had to wear a face mask inside the shop.
Can I still bet online?
Gamers can still bet online during the coronavirus lockdown via their favoured bookies’ websites.
Online casino and bingo halls have also been able to continue operating like normal.
In fact, one lucky salesman won £400,000 on online casinos after getting bored during lockdown.
But remember gambling isn’t without its risks – there’s no guarantee you’ll win and a high chance that you’ll lose cash.
When will casinos reopen?
Entertainment businesses and venues, including casinos, have closed under lockdown.
While nothing has been confirmed about when these businesses might reopen, it is understood this could be a while yet.
When Brits are allowed to make a trip to their local casino, they could have to follow certain rules.
Last year, casinos were allowed to reopen from August last year.
Stringent hygiene and social distancing measures were put in place in all casinos to ensure the safety of staff and customers alike.
What help is available for gambling addictions?
THERE’S evidence that gambling can be successfully treated in the same way as other addictions.
Cognitive behavioural therapy usually has the best results, but there are a number of treatment and support groups available for people who want to stop gambling:
- GamCare offers free information, support and counselling for problem gamblers in the UK. It runs the National Gambling Helpline (0808 8020 133) and also offers face-to-face counselling.
- If you live in England or Wales, are aged 16 or over and have complex problems related to gambling, you can refer yourself to the NHS’ National Problem Gambling Clinic for problem gamblers.
- The Gordon Moody Association offers residential courses for men and women who have problems with gambling – email [email protected] or call 01384 241292 to find out more. It also runs the Gambling Therapy website, which offers online support to problem gamblers and their friends and family.
- Gamblers Anonymous UK runs local support groups that use the same 12-step approach to recovery from addiction as Alcoholics Anonymous. There are also GamAnon support groups for friends and family
This included customers using hand sanitisers before entering the casino, as well as when joining and leaving a gaming table.
Entry to casinos was also limited to one person at a time, with two-metre social distancing enforced in any queues outside.
The number of people who were allowed to sit at a table was limited to reduce the risk of infection, and customers needed to wear face coverings.
Floor layouts were redesigned to ensure social distancing at all times, gaming machines were cleaned after each play session and ATMs were sanitised at least once an hour.
The PM last week told ministers there will be no backsliding on his goal of getting kids back to class from March 8 – despite a mutiny by Sage scientists.
Sir Jeremy Farrar said Covid infections must be cut from the current 750,000 to just 9,000 “before we can think about lifting restrictions”.
Meanwhile, Prof John Edmunds said opening schools could push the R rate above 1, and some restrictions will be needed until Christmas.