Casino News

Mixed Feelings in Alberta on Potential Casino Reopening

Monday is going to be an important day for Alberta’s province, as the local government is tasked with the responsibility of deciding whether the region is ready to move into Phase 3. If this becomes reality in the upcoming week, it means that some businesses can recommence. The gaming sector is one of them and many province’s casino entities are lining up for a potential reopening.

Alberta is the only province left with no functioning gambling enterprises after they were closed down 3 months ago. If the government’s decision is to enter Phase 3 this Monday, many businesses such as casinos, theatres will be finally allowed to recommence their activities but under a strict health and safety set of protocols.

Safety Measures

For quite some time now the casinos in the province have been preparing a potential reopening by installing mandatory safety measures in order to protect staff members and visitors. The long-awaited reopening might be just around the corner as it will be decided on Monday, March 29. Vik Mahajan, CEO of the River Cree Casino recently gave his thoughts on the current situation in the province.

According to Mr. Mahajan, the casino industry is the only one left with a non-operational status, and other businesses have received the green light to recommence working even with some restrictions. Meaning that the local gaming industry has suffered tremendously after the lockdown implementation. He stated that the casinos were very strict with complying with the safety protocols but they were still closed down.

However, in light of the potential business restart, some Edmontonians are concerned that such reopening may be coming too soon for the province. Local Glenn Weagle being one of them as he stated that the government should be patient and ease up on the restrictions relaxing as the variants of the unprecedented situation are spreading.

Dr. Darren Markland has also voiced his concerns about the upcoming reopening of the businesses. According to him, now is not the right time for such a restart and the government should wait until June at least. As the government promised that by then every adult should be vaccinated by then. And in his words, the public should take for example the last time when restrictions were loosened and it was also too early.

Preparation Already In Place

The reopening of gambling properties in Alberta was scheduled for the start of March this year, but it was later shifted to the end of the Month. Gambling venues in the province have already implemented mandatory safety protocols. According to John Szumlas, head of Bingo Alberta, the staff has undergone a virtual training course in order to be aware of all protocols and how they should be complied with.

Single-Game Wagers

As the province prepares for the potential reopening of its land-based casino venues, the state’s Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis voiced its stance on the heavily discussed subject of single-event bets legalization. According to the Crown corporation, such a step must be taken in order to further revolutionized the county’s gaming field. Additionally, gamblers will be finally drawn away from pouring millions of dollars into offshore gambling platforms.

Source: “’It’s tough for us’: Casinos ready to open, some worried it’s too soon”, CTV News, March 21, 2021