On Saturday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced all 5,681 betting shops in England will close on November 5. The new lockdown of non-essential shops will last until December 2. Casinos are also among the affected businesses. Chief executive of the Betting & Gaming Council Michael Dugher said the decision was “not remotely about science.”
The Department for Health & Social Care stated the betting shop customers are more likely to remain in an enclosed space for a prolonged amount of time, increasing their chances to contract the virus. According to the Racing Post, the cost of the month-long shutdown could reach eight figures.
However, racing and other elite sports will be able to continue operating behind closed doors, unlike during the first lockdown. According to a statement from the British Horseracing Authority: “The horseracing industry has worked hard to maintain the safety of our participants and the communities in which we live and work. We have done all we can to play our part and will continue to do so under the new restrictions.” The statement said the permission to remain operational was “welcome news for the tens of thousands whose livelihoods depend upon our industry.”