Casinos in Alberta will once again close their doors

By Violeta Prockyte

Casinos in Alberta, Canada, will once again have to close its doors as its government announced tighter restrictions in the province in order to curb the spread of the coronavirus.

All outdoor and indoor social gatherings are banned, restaurants can only offer take-out services, and there’s a mandatory work-from-home measure in place. 

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney said: "If we relax the public health measures to permit large family gatherings in just three weeks' time, we will, without a shadow of a doubt, see a large increase in hospitalizations and fatalities." 

The restrictions are said to last for four weeks. While some businesses, including the hotels, will be able to remain open with only a 15% occupancy capacity, casinos, bingo halls, gaming and racing entertainment centres, horse tracks and raceways will all have to close its doors on Sunday.   

Previously, casinos in Alberta were closed on 17 March, with slots returning on 12 June. Casino tables reopened in September.

According to CTV News, during the first wave of shutdowns, the province expected to lose close to CA$900m (US$703.4m) in revenue for 2020 due to casino shutdowns, as gaming revenue fell from the predicted CA$1.4bn to CA$500m.

The industry expected the loosened restrictions will lessen the CA$900m drop, but with the renewed shutdowns it seems unlikely. 

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