This week is an important one for the province of Manitoba, as it saw new restrictions directly affecting its gambling field. Manitoba Public Health officials mandated the official closure of casino locations and gambling halls which came into effect this Monday. The unprecedented situation has taken its toll on the entire province of Manitoba.
The province has seen an increase in community transmission which has prompted quick action from the officials keeping a close eye on the health condition of Manitobans. Last week saw the official announcement that all brick-and-mortar casinos, bingo halls, as well as bars will have to close for business. The recently unveiled plan for action will affect the upcoming two weeks of operation.
Dr. Brent Roussin, Chief Provincial Public Health Officer, made it clear last week that October 19 would be an important day for the Winnipeg region. It saw the start of fourteen days of suspended in-person gambling in the area. Individuals interested will have to wait until they get the chance to once again try their luck in-person.
Casinos to the likes of Club Regent Casino and McPhillips Station Casino are currently closed. Shark Club Gaming Center also had to close for business until further notice, strictly following Manitoba Public Health orders. It could be recalled that before this recent announcement, brick-and-mortar venues worked with reduced working hours. They welcomed individuals between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. only. The remainder of the night was reserved for thorough cleaning of the venue and preparation for the next day.
The new opening hours were announced at the beginning of this month when the situation saw a slight shift across the country. Individuals were still obligated to wear their face masks at all times while on the premises of the casino venues and the bingo hall. Mr. Roussin said that these couple of weeks will have to be sacrificed for people’s benefit.
Fortnight of Closure
Along with the casinos and bingo halls, beverage rooms, bars, live entertainment facilities will also have to close for business for two weeks. While these venues had to close, restaurants and lounges will remain open. They will welcome up to 50 percent of their usual customers, increasing the distance between individuals and their tables.
Retail locations will also have to see a 50-percent limit on their daily operation. Manitoba’s Health Minister Cameron Friesen pointed out that the first days of November are going to see a reassessment of the situation and subsequent measures will be implemented if needed. It should be pointed out that September 28 saw the introduction of the orange code in Winnipeg Metropolitan Region.
The unprecedented situation impacted Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries Corporation, as it was unveiled recently. The net income managed to slump below the budget and the drop amounted to some CA$24 million. The closure of casinos back in March resulted in a drop of CA$8.6 million this year, a 3.4 per cent decline. VLT gaming witnessed a 40-percent drop due to lockdown.