Casinos in British Columbia are anticipated to reopen on 1st July in the second phase of reopening. Casinos in B.C. were shut down in mid-March 2020. For 15 months, the province has been without indoor sports, concerts, live gaming, among other events. However, that is about to change as the COVID-19 measures continue to loosen.
The second phase of reopening in B.C. will include movie theatres, banquet halls, liquor services, and loosening of travel restrictions. Chance Kelowna owner Stan Walt is eager to see the door open back. Like most gambling establishments, Chances has made all necessary changes to permit physical distancing.
Phase 3 of reopening will start on 1st July and will include reopening gaming establishments and nightclubs. Walt says that slots will open, but will be spaced. Walt added that table games are to be introduced online by August. Chances casinos offer table games such as blackjack and bingo.
However, bingo will not be resuming soon due to the limited capacity. Bingo requires a crowd of players, and without the ability to draw a large number of people, the necessity of bingo remains paused. British Columbia Lottery Corporation is providing information on protocols and seating numbers.
Casinos are preparing to resume their operation, but some establishments are struggling to get their employees back. However, Walt says that Chances is not experiencing the same problem, adding that most of their staff have promised to return.
Gateway Casino in Kelowna, Penticton, Vernon, and Kamloops have also started recalling staff needed to operate the business. In an email, Gateway Casino public relations director Tanya Gabara indicated that more employees would continue to return as restriction continues to be lifted.
“We have begun to recall staff based on what is needed to operate the business under current restrictions. As those restrictions continue to be lifted, more staff are expected to return to active work.”
Gabara also acknowledged the compliance requirements that are being imposed on all sectors. That includes the physical distancing. However, more changes around gaming could come around September in the final phase of reopening. At that point, most of the restrictions will be lifted, including the limit on the number of people attending indoor events.