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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However, all retailers are allowed to open again on Monday April 12 under plans to ease England out of lockdown – and that includes betting shops.
Other high street retailers including New Look, Primark and TK Maxx will welcome back customers too.
And punters will be able to head to pubs and restaurants as long as they sit outside.
Here's everything you need to know for when the bookies reopen:
What will the rules be when betting shops reopen?
Like when they reopened in June 2020 following the first lockdown, bookies and betting shops must make sure they are Covid-secure to limit the spread of coronavirus.
Shops will have to complete a risk assessment as well as consult with workers and trade union representatives to ensure the business can operate safely.
Bosses need to ensure that branches are cleaned regularly andprotective coverings were placed on items regularly touched by the public.
Timeline for businesses reopening after lockdown
PRIME Minister Boris Johnson has outlined his roadmap for easing England out of lockdown.
Businesses will be allowed to reopen on the following dates, as long as the "four steps to freedom" are met.
- Hospitality outdoors
- Self-catered staycations with one household
- Indoor hospitality
- Indoor exercise gyms
- Bingo halls
- Sports stadiums to reopen but capped to 10,000 fans
Customers will have to social distance, so some branches may limit the number of people allowed into the betting shops at any one time.
Markers have also been placed on the floor to help customers stay apart.
Face masks must be worn when inside the shop.
Can I still bet online?
Gamers can still bet online even after shops reopen via their favoured bookies' websites.
Online casino and bingo halls have also been able to continue operating like normal throughout lockdown.
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.
If you think you have a gambling problem there are plenty of places you can turn to for help, including GamCare and Gamblers Anonymous UK.
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.
When will casinos reopen?
Entertainment businesses and venues, including casinos, have closed under lockdown.
But from May 17, indoor hospitality venues will be allowed to reopen once more.
Casinos fall under this category and it is understood they will be allowed to reopen from this point too.
When Brits are allowed to make a trip to their local casino, they could have to follow certain rules.
Stringent hygiene and social distancing measures were put in place in all casinos to ensure the safety of staff and customers alike.
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.
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
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