Alberta is preparing the resumption of land-based gambling, casino, and bingo halls. The province expects that the gambling events increase as it heightens guests’ health and safety measures and casino staff’s.
Since December 2020, the province had put the restaurants, bars, and casinos were closed. They were initially scheduled to reopen on March 2021; however, that would be delayed for few weeks due to some concerns.
Alberta government believes that the reopening of gambling will attract plenty of visitors. Although most Albertans have already been vaccinated, Edmonton’s Castledowns bingo hall manager Brenda Pope says that the gaming facilities must follow safety protocols, including temperature checks and regular sanitization.
John Szumlas, the head of Bingo Alberta, said that the facilities staff are being trained so that they be in the capacity to conduct the health and safety measures. He further acknowledged that there might be hesitancy among players to measure gambling properties’ health concern measures.
Vik Mahajan, the chief executive officer at River Cree Resort and Casino, says the property is ready to resume operation when a notice is given. He added that the VLTs were closed for 160 days, while the table games were closed for 200 days in 2020. With the 2021-222 financial year starting in April, the provincial government might be prospecting to increase gaming revenue.
Mahajan believes that the province can generate up to CA$1.25 billion since the local demand for gambling activities is high. The Alberta government also hopes that mass vaccination will ease the recovery of the casino industry.
The Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis regulator voiced its support of the single event wagering legalization in Canada. The regulator affirmed that such a bill would ensure that players do not channel millions of dollars into offshore websites and instead bring the revenue back to local businesses and communities.
The online gambling platform PlayAlberta.ca was recently approved by the Alberta regulator. Such a move will enable gamblers to play remotely; however, some are concerned by the move saying that it will be harmful to players.
Bonnie Lee, an Associate Professor in addictions counseling at the University of Lethbridge online gambling, will be harmful to players, especially during lockdown restrictions, when they have plenty of free time.