Casino closures in Alberta affect First Nations and charities

Casino closures in Alberta affect First Nations and charities

Hundreds of charities in Alberta, Canada, are suffering due to the closure of the province’s casinos.

Canada.- Charities and First Nation communities in the Canadian province of Alberta are feeling the impact of the closure of casinos due to their economic dependence on casinos’ revenue.

Casinos are not allowed to reopen in Alberta until the province moves to step three of its reopening plan.

According to the AGLC, approximately 1,200 charities have been affected since venues were closed on December 13.

NGOs, veterans groups and volunteers from team sports would often work for casinos to exchange obtain money. In 2019, that income ascended to $160m.

First Nation Chief Billy Morin said that the Enoch Cree Nation had lost $26m due to the 3-month closure of River Cree Casino last year.

Laurel Wheeler, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Alberta, said many Indigenous communities across North America depended on gaming revenue and will be disproportionately affected by the pandemic closures.

Creative ways of generating income

Right now, First Nation groups and charities are looking for different and creative ways to get by. Hairsine Community League received a grant from the Edmonton Oilers Community Foundation and is applying for a sustainable food grant for its community garden.

The Edmonton Aboriginal Seniors Centre received some money from the provincial government’s Small and Medium Enterprise Relaunch Grant and plans to host a “Donate a Car” event.

The provincial government said in its budget that AGLC net income from gaming and lottery activities had fallen dramatically during the pandemic but is forecast to recover relatively quickly and grow.

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