Manitoba Bingo And Gaming Halls To Reopen

By Ben Hamill - June 19 2020

Manitoba Bingo And Gaming Halls To Reopen

VLT and Bingo games enthusiasts living in Manitoba are without a doubt absolutely thrilled by the news that the province has declared indoor entertainment and recreation centres next to reopen as part of the third phase of reopening the local provincial economy. This means that all VLT lounges, Bingo halls/venues, billiard rooms and similar forms of indoor gaming and entertainment will be free to open for business come June 21st.

Players concerned about the general state of health of those living in Manitoba will be relieved to learn that strict and specific public health guidelines will apply, and that all of the abovementioned venues and games will be made subject to those guidelines. Failing to adhere to public health and safety regulations and guidelines will result in severe penalties and in a worst-case scenario, even permanent closures of businesses and entertainment venues.

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Strict Rules Will Apply

Some of the rules that will have to be strictly adhered to according to the provincial Phase Three reopening include, among others:

  • A physical distance of at least two metres maintained between all individuals – including employees;
  • Staff provided with proper information and training about physical distancing;
  • Occupancy limited to 50 per cent of the usual capacity;
  • Signs prohibiting those who are ill from entering are to be erected at all main entrances;
  • Hand sanitizer to be made freely available and placed at all entrances and exits;
  • Surfaces are to be cleaned between customers;
  • The frequent and thorough cleaning and disinfecting of public bathrooms and washrooms;
  • Food services are to follow strict updated restaurant and dining guidelines;
  • Lines of people are to be properly monitored at points of entry; and
  • Cashless payment methods are to be implemented as far as practically possible.

Casinos Still A No Go

Commercial casinos will however not be permitted to open under the provisions of Phase Three. But tribal casinos, i.e. casinos not subject to government rule at provincial levels, have gradually started to reopen.

Manitoba’s office of the premier has been involved in ongoing embattled talks with tribal casino operators and First Nations chiefs regarding the premier’s efforts around implementing a ban on smoking at all casinos in the province – including those operated by First Nations.

Public health experts have warned over the role played by smoking and even pollution in general in the exacerbation of the current public health crisis. First Nations leaders are however mostly not willing to engage in talks revolving around smoking being banned inside tribal casinos and First Nations-run Bingo and gaming venues.