British Columbia city expects boost in revenues with casinos reopening

Casinos in Canada in British Columbia are scheduled to reopen on July 1.
Casinos in Canada in British Columbia are scheduled to reopen on July 1.

View Royal Mayor David Screech has high expectations for the reopening of casinos.

Canada.- With casinos in Canada preparing to reopen on July 1, expectations of a recovery are growing in British Columbia.

According to View Royal Mayor David Screech, the BC Lottery Corporation‘s decision to allow the resumption of casino operations by Canada Day is good news on a number of levels.

The largest BCLC facility on Vancouver Island is Elements Casino, which before the Covid-19 pandemic, generated a revenue of between CA$4.5 and CA$5m shared between six local municipalities including View Royal and two First Nations.

Screech said in a press conference: “From our perspective and the others who share the revenue, that’s a significant change in a positive sense in our budgets. I think it’s wonderful news all around for the staff and company as well after being closed for about 15 months.

According to Screech, casinos and community gaming centres generated $929m of the $1.3bn in net income BCLC delivered to the province, with the funds supporting education, healthcare, community programs and First Nations.

The mayor expects those numbers to come back after the reopening.

How casinos in Canada are preparing to reopen

According to the authorities, the protocols for venues to follow on reopening will include:

  • At least two metres of space between table games, slot machines and other gambling equipment to support physical distancing.
  • Physical barriers (such as plexiglass) where physical distancing is not possible or where casino employees, such as dealers or cash-cage staff, must interact with players.
  • Reduced occupancy to as many players as there are active seats available on the gaming floor, in combination with occupancy for amenities such as restaurants and lounges.
  • Adjusted availability of table games to those in which cards can be dealt face up; players will not be permitted to touch cards, with the exception of Squeeze Baccarat, which utilises one-time use cards.

The BCLC said casino staff will be required to complete training on enhanced health and safety protocols. It said it will continue to monitor capacity and other facility standards, including air quality.

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