Despite casino properties in British Columbia returning to normal, the effects of the unprecedented situation still echo through the industry. This week, Chances Casino Kelowna informed the public that it will permanently suspend bingo activities at its premises. Management indicated that the offering is no longer a viable option for the casino.
Due to the emergence of the unprecedented situation in March 2020, Chances Casino Kelowna and every other gaming property in the province were closed down for approximately 16 months. B.C. casino reopened in July 2021, however, many of them were massively affected by the closure and started to reevaluate their operations and prioritize recovery since then.
On Monday morning, the management of Chances Casino Kelowna announced that it has made the difficult decision to suspend its bingo activities permanently. The property elaborated that attendance over the last few years has been on the decline and the 2020 closure has had a major role in the decision to cease operations, as it is no longer a viable product.
After its reopening last summer, the casino has opted to use its bingo hall as a way of providing social distance slot machines, and thus focus on its only active offering at the time. And despite some of the staff returning, the casino was not able to bring back enough people to maintain the level required to operate the large bingo facility.
The owner of the bingo hall, Stan Walt, shared that he is quite proud to have been part of the bingo offerings at the Kelowna Bingo Palace at Blue Heights Park back in 1985. He recollects that the casino has had some memorable bingo events over the years, and the fact the hall was not able to reopen at the casino has been very difficult and upsetting.
In the announcement, the casino informed that patrons who still have ScanPal accounts and points will be able to convert their rewards into free slot credits. While those who won Bingo Buck in 2020 will receive Chances Bucks. Currently, the property does not have a plan to reopen its hall, but bingo players can use their cards at the Kelowna Senior Citizens Society or on PlayNow
Contributing to Communities Once Again
Now that B.C. casinos are up and running and closer to pre-unprecedented situation levels of performances, they are able to once again contribute to the local economy and community groups. For instance, in November, for the period of July 1 to September 30, 2021, Chances Casino Fort St. John sanctioned its first positive net income allocation to the City of Fort St. John.
Fast forwarding to this summer RimRock Casino in Port Alberni, B.C. has also made a special donation to local charities. The casino has collected found money, forgotten change, slips, and even TITO tickets worth thousands of dollars to charities. The Abbeyfield House and Kiwanis Hilton Children’s Centre received CA$3,600 and CA$1,730, while the Salvation Army got an undisclosed amount.
Source: Jones, Sarah “Chances casino to permanently scrap bingo” KelownaNow, August 15, 2022