Casinos in British Columbia press for reopening

Fort St. John city council has warned British Columbia’s provincial authorities about the consequences of extending the closure of casinos in the province.

Canada.- Casinos in British Columbia are pressing to be given a date to reopen after Covid-19 restrictions.

Provincial authorities have said there is no firm date for gambling facilities to reopen at this time. Finance Minister Selina Robinson said casinos will reopen once provincial health officer Dr Bonnie Henry says they can.

Casinos across the Canadian province were closed last spring due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In Fort St. John, the city council has been pressing the province for a reopening plan, warning that the closure of Chances casino has put 125 people out of work and cut nearly $900,000 in gaming revenues from the city’s budget.

Operators have stressed that they are prepared to comply with the health and safety requirements set by health authorities to prevent the spread of the Covid-19.

The province said in a statement: “BCLC (British Columbia Lottery Corporation) and the service providers have submitted health and safety plans to reopen the BC casino industry to WorkSafeBC and the PHO.

“Following approval to reopen gambling facilities, they will do so with appropriate measures in place to support the health and wellbeing of players, employees and communities”, said Robinson about the closure of venues.

Robinson also noted that people can still gamble online through the BCLC, as the province has extended registration terms with gaming operators to the end of this year.

The province said: “BCLC will continue to be guided by the advice of the PHO and more information about the reopening of gambling facilities will be shared when it is available.”

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