After a lengthy suspension, Saskatchewan is ready to reopen its casino properties this June. The Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority announced that it will be restarting operations at its seven gaming venues in the province on June 20. The casinos will be operated under a limited capacity and all guests will have to comply with the mandatory health and safety measures set by the provincial government.
In order to contain the spread of the unprecedented situation, Saskatchewan announced its entering into lockdown restrictions in the end of 2020. This order closed down most of the business enterprises including the province’s gambling hotspots. Gaming enthusiasts and casino workers had to wait for several months for the return of land-based properties.
The First Nation informed that its gaming venues will reopen this June 20, with a limited player capacity of 150 individuals. Additionally, there will also be social distancing rules, health and drinks amenities will also be limited as the company is hopeful to increase its offerings when restrictions are eased.
President and CEO of Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, Zane Hansen, stated that the corporation is very excited about the prospect of reopening the gambling halls and welcoming back its treasured guests. He ensured that the First Nation has taken the utmost responsibility to ensure the safest possible condition as players’ and staff’s health is the number one priority.
The First Nation has even provided a schedule for its properties’ working hours when they reopen this June 20. Bear Claw Casino and Hotel will be operating every day from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Living Sky Casino will also follow the same working daily schedule. Painted Hand Casino will be operational also on a daily basis but from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m.
The rest of the casinos will have a slightly different schedule. Gold Eagle Casino will be working from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. from Sundays to Thursdays, and from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Gold Horse Casino will operate on Sundays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. and from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
Dakota Dunes Casino will be operational from 10 am to 3 am from Sundays to Thursday, and 10 am to 4 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Stat Holidays. Northern Lights Casino will work on Sundays to Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m., and then on Fridays, Saturdays, and Stat Holidays from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Gaming properties in Saskatchewan closed down on December 21, 2021, as a precaution due to the increasing numbers of unprecedented situation cases. This has led to temporary layoffs of 238 unionized and 89 not-unionized casino workers. The lockdown restrictions were on course to be just 28 days of no operational businesses, however, the suspension has stretched to June this year.
The December suspension of casino properties has been a major hit for Saskatchewan as over 74 First Nations from the province have been affected by it. The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations claimed that the government did not take into account the province’s First Nations and did not warn them about the upcoming closure and the tribal corporations did not take part in the discussions.
Source: “Casinos to reopen June 20”, Battlefords News-Optimist, May 28, 2021