Reopen Casinos in B.C.
Reopen Casinos in B.C.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic was identified in China in December, 2019, the effects across the globe have been devastating.
Statistics Canada's Labour Force Survey data brings the total number of Canadian jobs lost due to COVID-19 to 3 million. The closure of non-essential services to slow the spread of COVID-19 has devastated the economy and forced businesses to shutter temporarily- in many cases, permanently. Job losses have been staggering. The unemployment rate more than doubled to nearly 14 per cent between February and April.
Months later British Columbia has entered phase 3 of the COVID-19 restart plan, allowing for non-essential travel and the reopening of restaurants, bars and nightclubs under strict social distancing and maximum capacity guidelines. Parents are hopeful as they brace for schools to reopen in September.
There has been little word on British Columbia’s casinos reopening.
British Columbia has 36 casinos across the province with more than 8,300 employees. These range from casino dealers, slot attendants, cashiers, count room attendants, guest services representatives, lottery dealers, security teams, surveillance operators, and food & beverage workers. These are 8,300 regular people who have had their lives thrown out of balance because of the virus and provincial shutdowns.
Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry has done a great job in keeping the number of COVID-19 cases in B.C. manageable. We only ask that she and the B.C. government give our casinos the same chance that Quebec, Saskatchewan, Alberta, parts of Ontario, and the Atlantic provinces have had in reopening their casinos under strict guidelines to preserve the health and safety of our patrons, employees and communities.
We propose strict COVID-19 guidelines including:
- Social distancing measures
- Limited patron capacity for all casino locations
- Mandatory masks for staff and patrons to be provided at the door
- Temperature checks at the door
- Increased cleaning staff during all hours of operation
- Long-lasting antimicrobial sprays to disinfect surfaces
- Limited slot machines and table games
- Plastic barriers where necessary
- Increased hand sanitizers and wipes
For over 35 years casino players have helped shaped British Columbia and given back $23 billion to communities. Please give us a chance at a return to normality. Let us work together to fight the COVID-19 virus, bring back jobs to thousands of regular Canadians, and to provide entertainment, joy and friendships to British Columbians everywhere.