Industry Reports

Loto-Québec Shuts Down Casinos amid COVID-19 Uncertainty

Loto-Québec recently made it clear that the regular operation at its Quebec casino locations and gaming venues would have to come to a halt, at least for the time being. Casino Montreal, Casino Charlevoix, Casino Lac-Leamy, as well as Casino Mont-Tremblant would be closed for business amid growing concerns of coronavirus contraction. Along with them, the Crown corporation would also close its gaming venues in Quebec and Trois-Rivières.

Gaming venues across the province would have to close for a while until the concerns regarding COVID-19 are mitigated. People are drawn to avoiding public locations and large gatherings of individuals, as this could lead to a larger outbreak of the virus. The provincial Crown corporation overseeing gambling offerings also joins the efforts with this recent move of casino venues closure.

Casinos Closed for Indefinite Period

Midnight this Friday saw the official closing of all four casinos and two gaming halls in the province. Patrice Lavoie, Spokesperson for the Crown corporation, announced the information on Twitter on March 13. He stated that the dynamic situation has triggered more preventive measures against the coronavirus, mandating the closing of the aforementioned venues.

Institut National de Santé Publique du Québec advised the casino venues to be closed for an indefinite period. Such a measure is expected to alleviate the situation and possibly reduce the number of individuals that would have otherwise contracted the virus. The changes and new measures are being implemented on a daily basis and the situation is a rather fluctuating one.

In order to keep under control the health emergency on a provincial level, the government has recommended the implementation of these measures. It could be recalled that earlier this week, the Crown corporation announced it would cancel live performances and shows at Casino Montreal and Casino Lac-Leamy. The cancellations were supposed to last until April 12, when the situation is expected to be alleviated. Canadian Union of Public Employees had previously issued its position on the subject.

Growing Coronavirus Concerns

The labor union made it clear that the individuals it protects are in need of a better shield against the spreading coronavirus. Their uninterrupted work with many individuals and large congregations of people drawn to the premium gaming offerings Loto-Québec. By continuing their operation, the venues were considered dangerous for both the casino staff and the patrons making their way there and spending time in the enclosed space.

Montreal also saw the closing of other places attracting large crowds such as the libraries, swimming pools, and arenas. In British Columbia, it has been confirmed that Chances Squamish has not been the arena of a COVID-19 spreading despite the rumors that have been connecting the gambling hall to the coronavirus. Tanya Gabara, public relations official with Gateway Casinos and Entertainment, confirmed that the rumors are untrue and regular operation continues.

The venue is being disinfected on a regular basis with improved hygiene policy across the gaming floor. Doors, handles, as well as slot machines are some of the most frequently touched areas of any casino venue and in this case, the management seek people’s peace of mind. Sanitation stations have also been introduced to the gaming venue, while the staff has gone through special training.