Flutter to reopen Paddy Power shops in England and Ireland
Flutter Entertainment has announced it is to reopen all of its Paddy Power retail shops across England and 150 locations in the Republic of Ireland from 15 June, after its network was shuttered due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.
The UK and Irish governments are to ease their Covid-19 restrictions from next week – including allowing all non-essential shops to reopen from 15 June – in response to a decline in Covid-19 infection rates and related deaths.
However, In the UK, this will initially only apply to England, with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland operating different lockdown exit strategies. Flutter said it would reopen its shops in the devolved nations when their governments allow it to do so.
Though all Paddy Power shops will resume trading from 15 June, only 150 of its stores will open in Ireland, with a view to opening more in the near future as the situation allows.
All UK casinos, betting shops and bingo halls have been shut since March, in line with government measures to combat the spread of Covid-19, while Irish betting shops also closed in the same month.
All Paddy Power shops in England and Ireland will follow the latest government guidelines on social distancing, while Flutter said it would introduce a number of other initiatives to help keep staff and customers safe.
These include managing the number of customers in shops at any one time and placing floor markings around stores to help punters queue safely while practising social distancing.
Customers will be encouraged to used hand sanitisers when they enter the shop, before and after machine use, and again when they leave. Punters will also be asked to take their pen with them or throw it away after writing out their bet on a slip, as well as to use contactless payment where possible.
In addition, Flutter said Paddy Power staff will request customers to limit the time they spend in shops in order to allow other punters to enter, as well as to leave the premises and return home if they begin to feel unwell at any time.
“We’re asking everyone to do your bit to help ensure that we, you and the rest of the world starts getting back to normal as quickly – and safely – as possible,” the operator said.
The announcement comes after GVC Holdings yesterday (9 June) said that it is to reopen 2,445 of its Ladbrokes and Coral betting shops in England from 15 June.
GVC will follow a similar strategy to Flutter in that it will keeps its shops across Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland until it is permitted to reopen its sites by their respective governments.