Gateway Casino employees from British Columbia release a video to the public in order for their voices to be heard during the unprecedented situation. Around 3,000 casino workers from the province have been struggling financially due to the lockdown restrictions, and a year after the shut down of the B.C. casinos the staff stated that the government has forgotten about them.
Gambling properties in British Columbia have been closed down for a year now, meaning that casino workers in the province have been left out without work for a long period of time. Despite the restart of other businesses in the province such as restaurants and shopping centers, casino employees have been left in the dark with no information whether their venue will be reopened any time soon.
New Westminster Starlight Casino workers have shared their struggles in a recent video posted online by the British Columbia Government and Service Employees’ Union. Titled “Don’t Forget About Casino Workers”, the video shows interviews with two single mothers who have shared their unfortunate experience with the closing down of the casino and lack of communication.
A slot attendant and member of the occupational health and safety board Manuella shared her heartfelt story of how the lockdown has taken its toll on her. According to her, both Gateway Casinos and the labor union have done everything in their power to reopen the gambling venue but to avail. Especially, when the property has already installed the mandatory health and safety measures on its premises.
Director of public relations for the company Tanya Gabara stated that the province of British Columbia has been only one left with no functioning gambling properties. According to her, the company’s reopening of its other properties in Alberta and Ontario where the same safety measures are in order have not been of any negative effect to the locals in those provinces.
The Ministry of Health responded to the request by stating that the government recognizes the effects the lockdown has had on the local population of British Columbia and in this case on the gambling industry. However, the ministry has failed to provide a reopening date and encouraged everyone to remain patient.
Stewart Groumoutis, director of eGaming operations of the British Columba Lottery Corporation has recently informed that the Crown corporation is in intensive discussions with other casino regulators, WorkSafeBC, and the provincial health authorities about a possible reopening timeframe. He stated that the current situation is rather complex but the ongoing discussions are very positive and soon there will be development.
View Royal Suffers Too
Mayor of View Royal David Screech has stated that the region has been heavily scarred by the inactivity of local casinos due to their shutting down in March last year. According to calculations the town of View Royal has suffered around CA$2 million of losses with no casino revenue. And soon the council will have the uneasy task of distributing the depleted budget of the region.
Source: Thomson, Cameron “Burnaby-New West casino workers beg B.C. to reopen gaming facilities in emotional video”, Burnaby Now, March 25, 2021