B.C. Casinos are gearing up for a safe reopening to the public.
Casinos are part of Step 3 in B.C’s restart plan and can open as early as July 1. The final details are being reviewed to ensure everything is inline with health orders. BCLC is working with the ministry, public-health officials and WorkSafeBC to for a safe reopening this summer.
Considering casinos have been closed since March of 2020, it’s safe to say the summer reopening is a big deal.
“We’re excited to be one step closer towards reopening the casino industry and to be included in step three of B.C.’s restart plan to safely bring people back together,” said Lynda Cavanaugh, BCLC’s Interim President and CEO.
BC Casinos Reopening Plan
Once open again, you can anticipate there will be some changes to ensure public safety. As of writing, this will include the following:
- 2m of space between table games, slot machines and other gambling equipment
- Physical barriers (such as plexi-glass) where physical distancing is not possible or where casino employees, such as dealers or cash-cage staff, must interact with players
- Reduced occupancy via active seats available on the gaming floor and occupancy for amenities
- Adjusted availability of table games, for example players will not be permitted to touch cards which the exception of Squeeze Baccarat, which utilizes one-time use cards.
In addition, all staff will be undergoing training about enhanced health and safety protocols including air quality. There is also specially designed ventilation systems in place for casinos, with air changes to occur several times each hour.
Further information including the official reopening timeline is expected to be made public ahead of July 1.
Part of the mandate for casinos in BC is to support the province’s investments in healthcare and education, community programs and the First Nations community. Host communities of casinos and community gaming centres receive a 10% share of net gaming revenue. The B.C First Nations share in 7% of the gaming revenue.
“Casinos offer great – and safe – entertainment and socialization, while also generating revenue for provincial initiatives, community programs and First Nations,” adds Cavanaugh.
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