British Columbia Readies for Reopening of Land-based Casinos

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While casinos across British Columbia remain closed, preparations are in full swing for their gradual reopening, with some added help from the provincial authorities.

After months of gambling lull, the casino life in British Columbia is gearing for a phased reactivation.  While gambling venues are some of the last businesses in the province that will be given the go-ahead to reopen, the casinos themselves have been working hard on their individual reopening processes.

As per government directive, all necessary sanitary protocols will need to be implemented to safeguard both the clients and the employees from potential exposure to the virus.  The reopening process has been on the slow side in the province, with British Columbia set to become one of the last federal units to greenlight land-based casinos and in-person gambling. 

Across the country, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Quebec have already sanctioned the reopening of land-based casinos, with Ontario recently relaunching its casino venues.  Conversely, British Columbia has taken a more cautious approach, with the Provincial Health Officer, Dr Bonnie Henry, warning that casinos would be the last to reopen.

With the local casino industry employing thousands of individuals, the pressure to reopen the venues safely and speedily has been mounting.  As a result, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation has been engaging directly with each casino under its jurisdiction to streamline the reopening process and provide any necessary support.  

Safety Protocols a Key Requirement

The new safety protocols require all venues to reconfigure the way their floors are laid out.  To promote social distancing between casino patrons, seating space around gambling tables has been increased, while every other slot machine has been switched off.  Additionally, plexiglass screens have been put up everywhere where a solid physical barrier between players is necessary.  

Complimentary hand-sanitising stations will be installed around the casino floor so that patrons can keep their hands clean at all times.  Furthermore, each slot machine and table game seat will be disinfected after each player.

Card games have also been affected by the new protocols, with only those games that involve the dealer alone handling the cards being allowed.

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