9 June 2020
GVC Holdings PLC
("GVC" or the “Group”)
GVC Sets out plan to safely welcome customers back to betting shops
GVC Holdings PLC, the global sports-betting and gaming group, has today set out the comprehensive plan it is implementing to safely re-open its Ladbrokes and Coral betting shops. From 15 June, all 2,445 shops in England will open their doors, followed by the remainder of the Group’s c.3,000 shop estate, as the devolved administrations in the UK ease their own lockdowns.
The guiding principle behind the plan is to ensure the health and wellbeing of all colleagues and customers. The plan details the social distancing and safety procedures put in place alongside the provision of new protective equipment installed in store and provided to the shop personnel. The new measures have been designed to meet or exceed guidelines laid down by the UK government and World Health Organisation.
The key elements are summarised below, with each element supported by detailed guidance and the provision of additional equipment and training where required:
- Pre shop-opening checks
- Property maintenance checks.
- Facilities, screens, bet stations, gaming machines and till systems cleaned.
- Review of security hardware in shops.
- Tools to support social distancing
- Installation of additional equipment including ‘sneeze screens’, protective barriers between gaming machines and bet stations to act as a physical barrier between colleagues and customers to ensure social distancing.
- Installation of customer signage and floor markings to provide direction on social distancing whilst in shop.
- Compulsory social distancing training module for all colleagues.
- Health and safety provisions
- Supply of stylus pens for customers using bet stations and gaming machines, to avoid customers physically touching screens.
- Provision of additional hand sanitiser stations, hand wash and cleaning products to promote and maintain good hygiene standards.
- Provision of colleague comfort measures such as face masks, protective shields and disposable gloves.
- Introduction of enhanced colleague cleaning routines in both the customer and colleague areas.
- Shop operation guidance
- Clear guidance on maximum customer occupancy levels, based on size and layout of each shop, to support social distancing.
- Guidance on customer entry/exit management procedures.
- Guidance on bet placement and payment processes, with use of contactless payment encouraged.
- Colleague wellbeing
- Installation of dividing partitions between till positions to act as a physical barrier between colleagues and ensure social distancing.
- Restrictions on transfer of personnel between multiple shops to reduce exposure.
- Provision of a third-party app “Unmind” to promote mental wellbeing.
- Supply of video and printed training materials.
- Employee Assistance Programme made available to all colleagues and their families.
- Open and honest communication channels with all colleagues.
- Safer gambling
- Increased monitoring of customer behaviour and wellbeing, to identify potentially vulnerable customers and ensure they are playing within their financial means.
- Guidance on interactions with vulnerable customers whilst social distancing
- Review of self-exclusion lists.
Commenting on the plan GVC CEO Kenny Alexander said:
“We are very pleased to be re-opening our shops in England as the UK begins the first steps in returning to some form of normality. Ever since the lockdown was introduced, we have been working tirelessly on a plan which will deliver the safest possible environment for both our customers and our people. I am confident we have achieved that and look forward to welcoming our customers back in the near future.”
Michael Dugher, Chief Executive of the Betting and Gaming Council, said:
“I’m delighted that GVC, home of some of the world class brands in betting, will be able to re-open their English betting shops safely from 15 June. GVC make a significant contribution to the economy, supporting good jobs in communities across the country, and it’s great to see at first hand their commitment to ensuring that their reopened shops will provide a safe and enjoyable environment for staff and customers alike”.
Notes to Editors
From 15 June in addition to all 2,445 shops in England, the Group’s five shops in the Channel Islands will also reopen. The Group is awaiting further guidance from the administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as the government of the Republic of Ireland as to when these shops will be permitted to reopen. The Group is preparing all shops within its retail estate to be ready for re-opening from the 15 June.
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About GVC Holdings PLC
GVC Holdings PLC is one of the world’s largest sports-betting and gaming groups, operating both online and in the retail sector. The Group owns a comprehensive portfolio of established brands; Sports Brands include bwin, Coral, Crystalbet, Eurobet, Ladbrokes, Neds and Sportingbet; Gaming Brands include CasinoClub, Foxy Bingo, Gala, Gioco Digitale, partypoker and PartyCasino. The Group owns proprietary technology across all of its core product verticals and in addition to its B2C operations provides services to a number of third-party customers on a B2B basis. The Group has also entered into a joint-venture with MGM Resorts to capitalise on the sports-betting and gaming opportunity in the US. The Group, incorporated in the Isle of Man, is a constituent of the FTSE 250 index and has licences in more than 20 countries, across five continents.
For more information see the Group's website: www.gvc-plc.com