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Aspers Casino Milton Keynes plans for reopening next month

In an email to staff, managing director Nigel Hartland said he was expecting a 50 per cent downturn in business due to the Covid-19 cisis.

As a result the Central Milton Keynes casino, which was open 24 hours a day before lockdown, will be closing every morning until noon. But it will still be open during the night, closing at 6am on Fridays and Saturdays and 4am on other days.

The reduction in business will be predominently caused by social distancing measures that will mean fewer people allowed at gaming tables and fewer tables in operation.

It is anitcipated that casinos could be allowed to open as early as the first week in July, when rigid social distancing rules will still be in place.

Mr Hartland's email states: "I am writing, to advise you that we believe a redundancy situation has unfortunately arisen within the company due to the economic and business consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and the prolonged period of closure of the Casino from March 2020. As a result, we believe we need to restructure to be able to reduce costs and sustain the business going forward."

The proposed redundancies will affect everyone from croupiers and chefs to bar staff and security officers.

Mr Hartland said the 50 per cent downturn was predicted to be across the board, including table gaming, and would be the effect of a "significantly reduced headcount" visiting the premises.

Some tables will also have to be closed due to social distancing regulations and, because sales of food and drink sales will suffer, some valet services will be scrapped and the restaurant opening hours will be reduced.

The email states: "We believe that the cost of operating the current valet and bar departments will outweigh the profit made on sales. We are also introducing a new Loyalty Programme which removes the complimentary drinks element of our previous scheme ultimately resulting in a drop in the demand in service requirements."

A selection criteria will be used to iudentify staff at risk of redunancy. There will be a consultation process and voluntary redundancies will be considered.

MK Citizen