Surrey’s Elements Casino Reopens
The casino properties of British Columbia have officially reopened after 16 months of shutdowns due to the global health crisis. Elements Casino Surrey, one of the properties owned and managed by Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, reopened its doors on 1 July. Elements Casino will only operate under restricted conditions, including a limit on capacity and adhering to very strict health and safety protocols.
Every casino and gambling hall within the province have been closed since March last year as a means of trying to contain the health crisis. Now, after a wait of 16 months, British Columbia has been able to move onto the third stage of its plan to reopen economic activity. At this stage, casinos are allowed to restart their operations, but at reduced capacity.
Several Casino Properties Reopen
The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation has reopened several of its other casino properties throughout British Columbia. Also relaunched on 1 July was the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, River Rock Casino and Resort, Elements Casino Victoria, Casino Nanaimo and Chances Dawson Creek, to name a few. Each one of these venues will also operate at reduced capacity.
The closures have resulted in the Corporation enduring financial difficulties over the past 15 months. These difficulties were published in its financial results for the first quarter of the year. The overall inflow of cash for the quarter amounted to CAD44,8 million, which is just a fraction of the CAD552,2 million in the same period of the previous year
Reopening Went As Well As It Could Have
Chuck Keeling, a spokesperson for Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, said that the reopening of British Columbia’s casinos went as well as it could have gone considering the fact that they remained closed for almost a year and a half. He explained that the reopening did come with a few challenges due to the long hiatus, as staff would need to learn about the new health and safety rules, as well as brush up on their old skills.
The spokesperson did add that despite the need for reduced capacity, the atmosphere at the casinos remains electric, as players are pleased to be able to come back. In order to preserve public health, the Corporation has installed the necessary barriers in order to ensure that social distancing rules are adhered to. If all goes according to plan, the provincial government will allow venues to return to their full capacity on 7 September.