British Columbia Lottery Corporation is not planning on opening brick-and-mortar casino locations in the foreseeable future, as there is no date pinpointed. Greg Moore, Interim Chief Executive Officer of the Crown corporation made it clear that the province is not in a hurry to reopen casino locations without a timeline for the process. Meanwhile, Alberta casinos are already paving the way.
Ever since mid-March, brick-and-mortar casino locations have been closed for business, and gaming enthusiasts had only online gaming to rely on when it comes to their preferred pastime activity. Physical distancing has been the recommended practice, but over the past couple of weeks, casino operators have commenced the process of reopening their venues. BCLC is taking its time.
In a recent statement, CEO Moore made it clear that the Crown corporation has not pinpointed a date for the reopening of land-based casino locations and gambling halls across the province. The process itself is a slow and careful one, as the venues have to be well-equipped for the individuals that will frequent it. Various safety measures will have to be introduced, in order to protect both employees and patrons.
Mr. Moore said that the Crown corporation is working closely with the Attorney-General, as well as utilizing all the information available. All land-based gaming locations have to be prepared for the individuals willing to gamble in-person. Service providers are working on ways they can implement the safety measures in the most comprehensive manner. The venues will also closely follow provincial health recommendations.
Over the past couple of weeks, casino operators and Crown corporations across the Canadian provinces have been paving the way for the official relaunch of in-person gaming. However, the process is a lengthy one and a timeline is unavailable for the time being. Mr. Moore pointed out that casino patrons will receive hand sanitizer bottles upon entering any casino venue.
This is considered to be one of the safety measures that will be introduced in British Columbia. Moreover, plexiglass shields will be installed between the slot machines, as well as throughout the high-traffic areas of the casino floor, in order to protect people. Another approach considered is reducing the number of slot machines in operation, as this would create space between the players gambling.
Mr. Moore also made it clear that card gaming might not be the first gaming offering to launch operation as soon as the casinos reopen. This is because players touch all the cards and their sanitation will require more time and work. Gaming chips will have to be used only once before they go through an extensive sanitation process. In the meantime, Alberta gaming is now available in-person.
The second phase of the business reopening plan was greenlighted, which meant that Evergreen Park is preparing for casino gaming relaunch. June 19 is expected to see the official greenlighting of gambling on the premises of the popular racetrack. When it comes to live racing, JDA Raceway is about to see its official launch on June 11, with races up until August 23.