British Columbia Reopens Casinos, Sports Betting Reaches Final Stage

After being shut for more than a year, casinos, bars and nightclubs in British Columbia, Canada’s westernmost province, were allowed to reopen this Thursday. Great Canadian did not wait and announced the reopening of nine BC venues. Furthermore, earlier this week, a bill, proposing the legalization of single-event sports betting received a Royal Assent.

BC Allows Casinos to Reopen

Gambling venues, bingos and casinos in Canada’s westernmost province, British Columbia were closed last year in March. The local government took the difficult decision in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19. After being closed for more than a year now, gradually restrictions are being lifted and casinos were allowed to reopen this Thursday.

Besides casinos, bars, restaurants and nightclubs were also allowed to reopen in British Columbia. With that in mind, all businesses currently have to operate under capacity limits. In casinos, the number of seats for table games is reduced, as well as the number of slot machines. Furthermore, casinos and gambling venues can operate at approximately 50% of their capacity.

Great Canadian Reopens Nine BC Properties

Following BC’s provincial government announcement, Great Canadian Gaming revealed that it reopened multiple properties on Thursday this week. Earlier this month, the company reopened its Halifax and Sydney properties. Now, nine more company venues in BC reopened doors yesterday. Great Canadian revealed that the venues will follow social distancing rules, as well as capacity limits for both slot machine and live table games. Furthermore, the operator revealed that the food and beverage services at those properties are going to be limited.

This is another exciting development for Great Canadian and our recovery from the impact of the pandemic.

Terrance Doyle, Interim CEO, Great Canadian Gaming

Terrance Doyle, GC’s interim CEO, revealed that this is an exciting development for the company on its way to recovery from the pandemic. Furthermore, he said that the reopening of the venues means that more than 1,000 team members are going to return to work which will result in generating revenue for the province and the communities.

Single Event Betting Moves Forward

Besides the reopening of gambling venues, this week brought good news for sports fans in Canada. Back in June, the Canadian Senate approved Bill C-218, which paved the path for single event betting on sporting events, except for horse racing, to be done online and via retail venues.

Now, this week, the bill received Royal Assent. In other words, Bill C-218 became a law, which means that single-event sports wagering in Canada has never been closer. Although the bill received Royal Assent, lawmakers are yet to confirm when it will be implemented.

The federal government supports this law reform.

David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

David Lametti, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, revealed that he is pleased to see that Bill C-218 received Royal Assent. He acknowledged that the bill, which amends the Criminal Code, will legalize single-event sports betting. According to Lametti, the legalization will result in a safer environment and regulation. At the same time, he revealed that the legalization will boost the country’s economy and support well-paying jobs for Canadians.

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