Executives and employees of Paddy Power and Flutter Entertainment, along with sports gambling enthusiasts across much of the UK and Ireland, have cause to celebrate. Paddy Power is finally beginning to open many of its sports gambling shops across the region, although some restrictions are still needed. While the Irish shops are going to remain closed a little longer, those in England, Scotland and Wales are now back in business. The Scottish shops were the latest, authorized to open as of April 26.
COVID-19 Continues to Fade in the Distance
While it’s still way too early to claim that it has been defeated, it’s becoming more apparent that COVID-19 is finally being forced into submission. As casinos across the world begin to reopen, all types of gambling activity are finally making a return. Paddy Power, which is owned by Flutter, made a huge announcement two days ago, explaining that it welcomes the public back as the company gets everything in order. It added, “Our number one priority is keeping our customers and team members safe. So, all our shops will follow the latest government guidelines on social distancing and ensure other public health requirements are met in full, in the interests of colleagues and customers.”
While the reopening is welcome, it will be important for gamblers to remember that, like other businesses, Paddy Power has to continue to adhere to certain restrictions. The number of customers allowed in each shop will be limited, social distancing will be in place and masks must be worn, except for the process of validating a customer’s identity. In addition, personal details may need to be provided in order to adhere to contact tracing requirements.
For those shops in England, there will be even more restrictions in place. A shop floor will only allow a maximum of eight people simultaneously and at a maximum of 15 minutes per visit, with only two visits per day allowed. Only two gaming machines – excluding betting machines – will be operational at any given time. All customer furniture will be removed, there won’t be any live sports coverage and the shops must close at 8 PM.
Time to Collect Gambling Winnings
Paddy Power customers don’t need to wait to get paid on any winning gambling slip. They can visit a local shop for a payout or, if they have an online account, can have the money deposited into that account. A picture of the winner and personal details can be emailed to Paddy Power for validation, after which the account will reflect the winnings.
Ireland’s situation is a little more precarious, which is why Paddy Power customers there are going to have to wait longer. According to the latest data from health officials, the number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise, with the five-day average reaching 437. That’s an increase from the 380 recorded a week ago. The good news is that the number of hospital cases is declining, which will come into play when Ireland’s sub-committee on COVID-19 meets today to discuss how to address restrictions over the next couple of months.