New UK Covid-19 restrictions that will see the closure of Grosvenor Casinos in Greater Manchester and South Yorkshire have been criticised by the operator's boss.
Jonathon Swaine, managing director of Rank Group, said: “The enforced closure of our ultra Covid-secure casinos is senseless.
"At first we thought that the decisions being made were arbitrary but it’s now clear that our casinos are being subjected to an aggressive and needless attack by decision makers who clearly understand nothing of just how safe casinos are and appear determined to damage the land-based betting and gaming industry for the sake of it.
"Venues such as pubs are able to remain open and serve alcohol if they also sell a meal, which leaves gambling venues as the only ones ordered by government to shut up shop. It is grossly unfair.
“As well as operating to the very highest Covid-secure standards with robust evidence to support that position, casinos support huge numbers of jobs while paying up to 50 per cent tax rates to the Exchequer.
"We have offered to close our casino bars in exchange for permission to trade but are still being forced to close and we’re yet to see or hear of a single shred of evidence that supports that decision.
"It’s a targeted attack on betting and gaming premises, the tens of thousands of employees and customers in this sector and the time has come to call it out for what it is.”