Rank Group director: If casinos remain closed, it simply adds to our cost base Tim Poole, Gambling Insider · August 17, 2020 at 7:37 am As English casinos hope the UK Government does not produce another last-minute U-turn before their scheduled reopening on 15 August, Rank Group’s director of public affairs, David Williams, has urged the importance of a resumption in business for the sector. Recently, investor Jason Ader told Gambling Insider closures are actually a “blessing in disguise” for casinos, who would simply lose more money if they reopened. But that is not a view shared by Rank Group, which operates casinos throughout England, and its director of public affiars says delays thus far have been “enormously frustrating.” Williams told Gambling Insider: “The sooner we can reopen the sooner we can start assessing and responding to the demand-side response across our casinos. It is enormously frustrating to have been cleared for reopening by government scientists only to have the rug pulled from under our feet at the eleventh hour. “With every week that the shutters stay up on our venues the rate at which we are burning cash increases. The furlough tapering scheme is in play and expressly designed to assist those businesses who are able to start bringing colleagues back to work whilst consumer demands returns. For casinos, it is of no use as we remain closed. It simply adds to our cost base.” Echoing the thoughts of CEO John O’Reilly, Williams believes Rank Group can achieve a cash-positive position the quicker casinos are allowed to reopen by the UK Government. “We are confident that the sooner we reopen the sooner we can move to a cash-positive position,” he explained. “It makes no sense to sit on the sidelines when we’ve passed all our fitness tests. We’re very proud of the COVID-safe measures we’ve implemented across our casinos from state of the art ID Scan, which captures the identity and time of entry of every person who enters our clubs, to the new protocols around table games and the Perspex screens we’ve installed.