What Does the Future Hold for British Columbia Casinos?
While casinos across Canada have started reopening their doors, the situation in British Columbia has been somewhat different, with gambling houses still shut down until further notice.
Many casinos across Canada that have had to close due to the pandemic have slowly started reopening. However, in British Columbia, the local authorities have taken a more cautionary approach and have decided to keep the local casinos shut for a while longer.
As it stands, the provincial gambling regulators don’t have a defined date for the reopening of the local gambling houses. This uncertainty has caused a great deal of frustration with the local gamblers, who have not been able to set foot in an in-house casino since mid-March 2020.
Talks Regarding Reopening Continue
The director of e-gaming at the British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC), Stewart Gromoutis, stated that the Crown company is closely collaborating with WorkSafeBC, industry regulators and the provincial health office regarding a possible reopening date. To date, the discussions have been reported as being constructive.
Due to social distancing requirements, most casinos have scaled down on the equipment to increase free space between machines and tables. Stan Walt, the owner of Chance Gaming in Kelowna, stated that he spent CA$2 million in order to reorganise his casino layout. The revamp saw 400 bingo seats and 350 slot machines being taken off the floor.
Additionally, the dormant ventilation system had to be reenabled to maintain clean air regularly. The system is capable of replacing the air inside the venue every 10 minutes. With all the changes, Walt expects to welcome 150 guests at a time once the restrictions are lifted.
Table Game Expansion on the Cards
Before the lockdown, Chance Gaming received permission from the regulators to expand its table game offering, adding variety to its already impressive bingo facilities. The Kelowna city council also stood behind the expansion of the variety of table games since such diversification is seen as a drawcord for more tourists to come to the area.