River Cree Casino Launches Roulette, Craps and Baccarat

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After a lull of almost six months, things are getting back to normal in Alberta, with the River Cree Casino dropping restrictions on table games and enhancing its game offering.

The past few weeks have seen numerous safety protocols being rolled out across Alberta, with the aim to protect both casino patrons and staff members.  With the considerable drop in gambling revenue taking its toll on provincial coffers, the reopening of table games will be seen as a welcome relief for both casinos and the authorities. 

From mid-March, all land-based casinos across Alberta had to close as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Following a careful re-evaluation of the risks associated with the running of casinos, the provincial government allowed the relaunching of slot machines on 12 June.  This reactivation, however, excluded table games which remained prohibited.    

Relaunching of Table Games

Due to their social setup, table games have been viewed as being high risk when it comes to physical distancing requirements.  To counter the possible threat of infection, all land-based casinos in Alberta were asked to install plexiglass dividers between player seats at each table. 

Additionally, Dr Deena Hinshaw, Alberta’s Chief Health Officer, noted that, so far, casinos have not been contributing to the transmission of the disease.  With this endorsement, health committees looked at ways of reactivating all the outstanding segments of the casino industry that have remained shut.

This comes in the wake of plummeting revenue, with gambling expected to bring in only CA$500 million in 2020, which is only a third of this year’s projected estimate.

Safety Protocols Put in Place

The loss of casino revenue has already contributed to Alberta’s ever-widening fiscal hole, that has now surpassed CA$24 billion for the current financial year.  An upswing in the gambling revenue could marginally reduce the budget deficit. 

Vik Mahajan, Chief Executive Officer of River Cree Resort and Casino, has welcomed the news of the lifting of the restrictions and noted that the casino is fully prepared for the reactivation of table games.  He further reminded that all individuals visiting the casino will have to wear face masks at all times and adhere to strict safety and sanitary protocols.     

River Cree has also recalled back 200 of its staff members that have been on circumstantial leave for nearly six months.  In-person table gaming has commenced at 11 am on 4 September and all who wish to play are now welcome.