Let’s get the details of re-opening agreed and in place now so the industry can help start the recovery on the high street, argues Gauselmann’s Sascha Blodau.
Gauselmann UK, one of the leading low-stake gambling investors on Britain’s high street, has urged government to work with the industry and agree an action plan prior to publication of the government’s exit strategy which is expected later this month.
Sascha Blodau, General Manager, Gauselmann (UK), underlined the importance of using the current period to iron out any issues or misgivings surrounding the re-opening of AGCs and Bingo Clubs. He said: “As a business and as an industry we need to plan for a successful re-opening and to be able to hit the ground running as soon as the health data tells us it is safe to re-open
“In specific terms we would like to know what the perceived risk hierarchy is for retail premises on the high street and the criteria used in this evaluation; whether the plan is to return to tiering and if so, what will be permitted under each tier as greater numbers are vaccinated; identifying and understanding what conditions have to be met in order to introduce a lighter touch regulatory regime and an insight to the structure if not the precise detail of government support measures as businesses begin the long journey of commercial recovery.”
“We operate a total of 180 venues in Britain and each week of lockdown is costing the company close to £1m. We have learned a lot about operating during the pandemic, I believe our safety protocols compare favourably with any bricks and mortar retailer and we are committed to supporting local economies and providing employment for people living in the 140+ towns and cities where we have venues.
“It’s of huge importance that we use this time to ensure that we are crystal clear about what’s required to reopen and trade alongside businesses such as Licensed Betting Offices with whom we share key characteristics. As an industry we can use this period to undertake any preparatory work that’s necessary to plan for re-opening and help to kick-start high street economies.
“There’s a huge appetite throughout Gauselmann and the UK industry to play a key role in helping to drive the recovery: so let’s get the details agreed now for when lockdown ends thereby providing the security and confidence that business needs.”