B.C. Gaming Regulators still Uncertain about the Reopening of Land-Based Casinos


Businesses are reopening all across Canada, including the land-based casinos. However, that has not been the case with the B.C. casino facilities. The provincial gaming regulators are still unsure about when the casinos will reopen.

Casinos in the province were closed on March 2020 after the province implemented the COVID-19 restrictions. Since then, gamblers in the province haven’t set foot in brick-and-mortar casinos, just the internet ones. There are concerns among the fans about when the industry will reopen, but currently, there is no firm confirmation about the facilities’ reopening.

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Stewart Groumoutis, the director of eGaming of B.C. Lottery Corporation says that talks with industry regulators, WorkSafeBC, and the health officer. The talks will determine the possible reopening and the conditions to be placed. Groumoutis added that the reopening discussions are very positive.

Many casinos in the province have rearranged their properties due to the social distance protocol. For instance, Stan Walt had to remove 50 slot machines to create the space needed to maintain distance. According to Walt, who owns Chances Gaming in Kelowna, the reorganization cost him CA$1 million.

Apart from the 50 slot machines, 400 bingos seats had to be removed to enable physical distancing. Additionally, Walt had to enable the dormant ventilation system to clear the air in the premises up to six-times an hour. The facility will be in the capacity to host 150 people at a time.

Before the beginning of COVID-19, Chances Kelowna gaming property had been permitted by the Crown agency in the province to provide table game offerings. However, the expansion has been objected to by Playtime Casino, who claims that such expansion will culminate in market stealing.

Kelowna venue was previously known for hosting bingo games, but allowing them to expand will enable them to offer a wider variety of table games. The move is supported by the Council of Kelowna, who believes that a variety of table games will provide diverse gaming experiences and attract more visitors to the region.