Gaming company, Merkur Cashino, has announced all plans to reopen its arcades in England are on hold after a government U-Turn. The Milton Keynes based company recently announced it was due to reopen over 130 venues in England on Monday 15th June, after it was given the green light, along with other non-essential retail, in the Prime Minister’s speech on the 28th May 2020.

Mark Schertle, Chief Operating Officer, outlined “Our entire team is disappointed by this decision that came late evening on Thursday 11th June. Our Covid-19 secure implementation plan was in the final stages, with all of our teams in England phased to return to work and be ready to open on Monday. Our teams have worked tirelessly to get our business back up and running.”

It is understood that the government advisory team believes that ‘arcades’ would not be able to comply with government guidelines for retail. This is because customers will need what the Government is calling “dwell time” in order to partake in the activity, which is at odds with their guidelines. The guidelines for retail state that customers should be able to enter a premise, make their purchase and leave as soon as possible.

Mark continued: “This is not the conclusion we were expecting, particularly because other gambling premises, like bookmakers will be able to reopen from Monday 15th June. Whilst I must say that the support the government has provided throughout the lockdown has been a great lifeline for our business, I do not understand how they can then make a decision like this at the 11th hour when all of our preparations were nearly complete. We are confident that we have everything in place to keep our teams and customers safe, many of whom were looking forward to the opportunity to come back to our venues.”

The senior management team is now contacting its 1,600 employees and customers to announce the next steps. Our reopening campaign of ‘Open, Clean, Safe’ was launched to the teams and customers to highlight a raft of new measures being put in place. Under the strapline “Working together to keep us all safe” Merkur Cashino was making a partnership between its teams and customers alike to ensure social distancing and cleanliness measures were met.

The Praesepe group operates a number of venues throughout the UK including 160 Adult Gaming Centres, 5 Family Entertainment Centres, 5 Beacon Bingo clubs & 24 tanning salons.

In case of a second outbreak of Coronavirus, Praesepe will refer back to their Covid-19 action and comms plan and the effected venue(s) will be shut and professionally deep-cleaned. For additional reopening information, please visit our website.