Casinos in British Columbia prepare to reopen

Casinos in British Columbia will reopen from July 1.
Casinos in British Columbia will reopen from July 1.

Casinos in British Columbia will reopen on July 1 after more than a year of closure due to the pandemic. The BCLC has revealed the protocols required for venues.

Canada.- The British Columbia Lottery Corporation has announced protocols for the reopening of casinos and community gaming centres scheduled for July 1.

Casinos in the province of British Colombia have been closed since March 2020 due to Covid-19 countermeasures.

Specific details of the reopening plan are being studied through consultation between the BCLC and service providers, ministry staff, public-health officials and WorkSafe BC.

Lynda Cavanaugh, BCLC’s interim president and CEO, said: “We’re excited to be one step closer towards reopening the casino industry and to be included in step three of B.C.’s restart plan to safely bring people back together”.

She added: “Casinos offer great – and safe – entertainment and socialization, while also generating revenue for provincial initiatives, community programs and First Nations.”

Requirements for gambling venues

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 that 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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