The Canadian Gaming Association is currently considering implementing new technology in several Winnipeg gambling properties in order to officially reopen casinos in the province. The proposal is to use electronic table games, as it would be a safer gaming environment. However, there is a major downside to it as many casino workers will be losing their occupations.
As any other Canadian province, Manitoba had to close down its land-based casino facilities in March 2020 after the arrival of the fierce unprecedented situation. Casinos were allowed to reopen later in July under a strict set of safety conditions and rules but were later closed down in October 2020. Since then, they have remained nonoperational.
Reopening But at What Cost?
Manitoba casinos might just be on the verge of digitalization as the Canadian Gaming Association is considering introducing electronic table games as a way to safely reopen venues in the province. Unfortunately, such a change will cost more than 100 jobs. President and CEO of the association Paul Burns that it something that is already occurring in other casinos across the world.
Devices will have a central dealer or a computer that will be in control of the dealings and array of seats. According to Mr. Burns, the proposal will allow greater product variety for both casino operators and gambling fans. He further explained that the dealer will be using a microphone to communicate with the bettors and act as a host.
The Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries corporation informed that the new technology will be installed at the Club Regent Casino, McPhillips Station Casino, and the Shark Club Gaming Centre. The Crown agency has stated that it has a commitment towards the constant improvement of the gambling activities and meeting the players’ needs, and that is why the province will be making the change.
However, there is a huge downside to the proposed digitalization and introduction of stadium gaming. Hundreds of casino staff members may be losing their jobs with the introduction of electronic table games. According to the labor union protecting the workers, 150 individuals have been offered a voluntary buyout. Over 124 have accepted it, 24 personnel returned to their positions and just two have been laid off.
Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries claimed that the corporation has saved millions of dollars after the significant layoff count due to the emergence of the unprecedented situation closing down all land-based casinos. President and CEO Manny Atwal the company has saved over CA$1.3 million in 10 weeks’ expenses thanks to the temporary layoffs.
Staff Member Accused of Fraud
A staff member of the Crown corporation Lori Ann Mann has been taken into court after allegations of fraud, money laundering, and data forgery. According to the police department, the 51-year-old has defrauded the company with CA$275,000, by falsifying the numbers about Casino of Winnipeg’s bus tours package, causing the casino to significantly overpaying the transport companies.
Source: DePatie, Mason “Manitoba’s move to electronic table games costs 150 casino jobs”, CTV News, April 17, 2021