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The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has welcomed the re-opening of Scottish betting shops that were closed in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Around 400 shops had been shut since the most stringent Level 4 restrictions which were imposed three weeks ago across 11 local authority areas. But after being moved to Level 3, they are now allowed to re-open alongside other high street shops.

BGC urged the Scottish Government to also allow casinos to re-open in Level 3.

Michael Dugher, chief executive of BGC, said: “It’s great news for staff and customers that betting shops can open their doors again.

“They have introduced a range of anti-Covid measures, including Perspex screens, hand sanitisers and strict social distancing rules, so they are a safe environment for people to work and enjoy a bet.

“But so have casinos, so they should be able to safely open their doors again as well.”

He added: “The economic contribution betting shops – and casinos – make in terms of tax paid to the Treasury, as well as the jobs they provide, will be vital as the UK recovers from the impact of the pandemic.

“Betting shops’ contribution to horse racing – which has suffered financially as a result of the ban on spectators – also cannot be overstated. Scotland’s five racecourses have taken a huge hit due to the pandemic and we are delighted that revenue from shops can now flow through to the racing industry.”