BCLC In No Hurry To Reopen Its Casinos

By Ben Hamill - June 17 2020
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BCLC In No Hurry To Reopen Its Casinos

No specific timeline for the reopening of casinos in British Columbia has been set and, says British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) interim CEO Greg Moore, the Crown corporation is in no hurry in terms of speeding along the process. A proper timeline will first have to be formulated, and one particularly mindful of the health and safety of guests and players.

Most of Canada’s casinos have been closed since the middle of March, and many remain closed. Alberta casinos have in the meantime reopened and are leading the way in terms of a new and safer approach to brick-and-mortar gaming subject to strict public health and safety regulations.

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BCLC No Law Unto Its Own

The BCLC is in the meantime working in close consultation with the office of Attorney General David Eby, whose very mission it is to deliver public safety services and lead medical emergency responses where necessary. And according to Moore, the Crown corporation is furthermore making use of all available information, which includes adhering to provincial health recommendations, to ensure a safe in-person gambling experience for all civilian citizens eager to return to land-based gambling.

Some of the measures already implemented by those casinos once again open to the general public include freely available alcohol-based hand sanitizers, partitions made of plexiglass installed between slots as well as at strategic locations on gaming floors, and a reduced number of slots and table games in operation at any given time.

A Safe Approach To Gaming

Moore furthermore voiced the expectation that from the BCLC’s point of view, table games should be last on the list to re-open. Card games pose a particular risk because of the constant physical handling of cards and chips. Possible measures currently being considered include chips being used once only before passing through a comprehensive sanitization process.

MGM International has in the meantime proposed a seven-point reopening safety plan for its US-based gaming locations. The plan includes the option of making use of digital room keys instead of physical access cards, and digital restaurant menus accessible via smart phones. A virtual seating queue system capable of sending a text message to a diner whenever a table is available is also in the offing.

As far as effective cleaning mechanisms go, MGM is considering the use of a specialised fog machine for the purpose of disinfecting venues in the evenings. No live entertainment or buffet-style meals are currently being offered.

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