Starlight Casino Employees Awaiting Venue Reopening

starlight casino image

After a full year of an economic shutdown, many casino employees across British Columbia are struggling financially due to the lockdown restrictions. 

Gateway Casinos employees have been bearing the brunt of the business closures in British Columbia, with the company’s facilities closed since March of last year.  As a result, over 3,000 casino workers employed by Gateway Casinos have been stuck in a financial quagmire, and many feel that the provincial government has altogether forgotten about them.

Despite the recent moves to reopen other businesses in the province, including shopping centres and restaurants, there has been no indication that casinos will follow suit any time soon.

Public Statement

Starlight Casino employees from New Westminster have recently created a video in which they share their current struggles.  The video, titled Don’t Forget About Casino Workers, shows interviews with two single mothers and their battle over the past year.

In one of the testimonials, the interviewee states that both the labour unions and Gateway Casinos have done everything in their power to relaunch the operations, but to no avail.  The grievance goes further since all the Gateway Casinos venues have implemented the government’s mandatory health and safety measures.

Tanya Gabara, the PR director at Gateway Casinos, warned that British Columbia is the only Canadian province that has kept its entire in-house casino industry under lockdown.  According to Gabara, the reopening of the company’s venues in Ontario and Alberta has been smooth and has had no adverse effects.

The British Columbia Ministry of Health has acknowledged the impact that the lockdown has had on the local gambling industry.  Nonetheless, the ministry has failed to indicate when casinos will be allowed to reopen again.

BCLC Input

The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) director of e-Gaming, Stewart Groumotis, recently commented that BCLC has been engaging other gambling regulators, WorkSafeBC, and the provincial health department about a possible reopening blueprint.  He noted that the current situation is complex but hinted that the ongoing discussions are moving in the right direction.

View Royal Financial Woes

Mayor of View Royal, David Screech, has noted that the region has been scarred due to local casinos’ closure in March last year. According to calculations, the town of View Royal has lost around CA$2 million in revenue so far.

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Bojan Lipovic - Digital Project Manager

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