In Alberta, casinos have already been shut down under the current provincial COVID-19 restriction. The closure has affected gaming operators and thousands of charities and First Nations that rely on it.
When casinos are operational in Alberta, volunteers from sports teams, non-profits, veterans, and community leagues trade their labor for a portion of casino revenue. Most casino events have been postponed, and the future of them resuming is yet to be determined.
Casinos in the province will only reopen once Alberta moves to step 3 of the reopening plan. The casinos were first closed on 13th December, since then, 1, 200 charities have been affected by gaming venue closure.
Laura Cunningham-Shpeley, the executive director of the Edmonton Federation of Community Leagues, termed the suspension of casino events as a big hit to the leagues. Les Barker, the president, and director of Hairsine Community League northeast of Edmonton said that his league is also affected by the postponing of casino events.
Casino funds make up 70 percent of the league’s revenue. The revenue is used to pay for sports programs and maintenance of outdoor rinks. Many leagues were unable to open their rinks during this winter season because they didn’t have funds to maintain them.
Casino Host First Nations are also being affected by the closure of casinos. Chief Billy Morin of the Cree Nation says they have lost $26 million due to closure. According to Laurel Wheeler, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Alberta, the indigenous North American communities who depend on gaming will be disproportionally affected by the closure.
And of course, during these Pandemic times, users would be more safe playing casino games from their own homes in online casinos.