Greater Manchester will enter a Tier 3 lockdown that is scheduled to start at 00:01am on Friday. More than 400 betting shops and 12 casinos will have to temporarily close their doors as a result
According to Manchester Evening News, the mayor Andy Burnham and the local council were unable to reach an agreement with the government over financial support for those affected by COVID-19 restrictions. The UK Government is only prepared to offer a 67% furlough scheme this time around, compared to 80% during the first lockdown.
Despite Manchester's leaders asking for £65m ($84.8m), the UK Government said it was prepared to offer £60m as a business bailout. Ultimately, negotiations broke down.
Burnham commented on the lack of support for Manchester's citizens: “Is this a game of poker with people’s lives? Let’s be clear who is most affected by a Tier 3 lockdown – it is people working in pubs, in bookies, driving taxis. People too often forgotten by those in power.”
The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) supports the call for financial aid in the industry through the Autumn and Winter seasons. Manchester is the third region to be placed under the Tier 3 restrictions, following Lancashire and Liverpool city.