John Stergides is very clear that the decision to open bookies and not AGC’s is incorrect. Worse, it lacks understanding – “if the people who made that decision cannot distinguish a simple matterlike that, they should not be involved in the decision process” – he says. Not a great endorsement of the roadmap
Coinslot: Does the government’s roadmap provide you with a clear path for a return to business?
Electrocoin John Stergides: It is not an ideal road map but at least it gives us and everyone an indication of when our industry will start to re-open subject to all being well.
It does hinge on everything going to plan with vaccines and a drop in covid infections etc so hopefully it all goes to plan.
CS: What’s missing from the roadmap for your business?
JS: The help that will be provided for the leisure industry especially those in the supply chains. Plus, an explanation as to why some areas are considered safer than others, for example although an AGC, with all the extra safety provisions taken out, are not allowed to open whereas a betting shop is considered safe even though its known that people stay longer in their premises.
If the people who made that decision cannot distinguish a simple matter like that, they should not be involved in the decision process unless they have other motives and favour the betting shops
CS: We have the budget next week, what does the chancellor need to do to make the roadmap work for you?
JS: Firstly, they need to provide assistance to those in the hospitality and leisure industry that have been deprived of the help and listen to those involved. Just being able to hopefully open the doors isn’t enough as it’s a second Easter season that has been lost.
The reality for the seaside arcades and holiday camps is the last time they had a ‘good’ season was in 2019.
As they tend to finish in September and re open in March and since they last closed in September 2019, aside from a bit of summer in 2020, they have been pretty much closed for nearly two years.
This applies to the general leisure industry that are reliant on seasonal tourism.