Alberta Phase 3 Reopening Expected Soon
March 29 is shaping up to become a deciding day for casinos and several other businesses in Alberta. Local government will on Monday announce its decision over whether or not the province is ready for a Phase 3 reopening.
While most business industries have reopened, albeit under strict health and safety protocols and restrictions, casinos in the province have not yet been permitted to resume their activities. This has resulted in extreme financial challenges for the local gaming sector, with casinos hoping feverishly on a positive outcome in the coming week.
Alberta is in fact the only province with no functioning casinos after all gaming and entertainment enterprises were re-shuttered three months ago. Theatres and general entertainment venues, too, have remained shuttered.
Casino Sector Eager To Reopen
According to Vik Mahajan, chief executive of Alberta’s River Cree Casino, the local gaming sector has suffered tremendous losses as a result of it being the only remaining industry with a completely non-operational status. Mahajan said that this was despite proper preparation for a safe and managed re-opening of the sector.
The problem, however, is that many Edmontonian’s have voiced their concerns over a re-opening of casinos, theatres, and other places of entertainment that would require public gatherings. According to local Glenn Weagle, government should instead of easing up on restrictions, ramp up its response to the different variants of the disease that can now be seen spreading. Weagle says he believes that patience would be a much better response – and at least until such time as what all adult persons in the province have been vaccinated.
Sharing Weagle’s opinion is Dr. Darren Markland, who recently added his voice to the side of those opposing the re-opening of casinos and entertainment venues.
Markland said he too believes that since government has promised that every adult will have received a vaccination by at least June, wide scale reopenings should be postponed until then. Markland added that those pushing for reopenings should be reminded of the previous time restrictions had been eased prematurely.
Initially scheduled for the beginning of March, casino reopenings were later bumped up to the end of the month. This means most gambling establishments have been prepared for a potential re-introduction of business for quite some time.
According to John Szumlas, who is the head of Bingo Alberta, the establishment’s employees have undergone intensive virtual training in order to help them prepare for a safe and compliant reopening run.