After a significant spell without in-person gambling, due to the occurrence of the unprecedented situation, Alberta is now one step closer to normality. Gaming enthusiasts will be glad to hear the news that Great Northern Casino will be officially relaunching operations again this Thursday, June 10, 2021, as the province enters stage 2 of its economy restart plan.
Land-based casino properties in Alberta have been closed down since December 2020, due to the provincial government closing down all social gathering businesses, as a precaution to stop the spread of the dangerous virus. But with Stage 2 of the plan commencing, casino, indoor recreation areas, and restaurants will be able to work again at 33% of their usual capacity.
One Step Closer to Regularity
General Manager for the Great Northern Casino Leanne Brownless, said a few words on the imminent reopening of the gaming property. She said that the team is excited about the possibility of welcoming patrons back and finally working again. Ms. Brownless explained that the casino will be strictly complying with all the AHS measures and sanitation processes.
The General Manager clarified that at the current moment not all of the casino’s premium services will be available. She stated that for now the lounge will be open, and patrons will be able to play either slot machines or table games. Ms. Brownless further stated that after its Thursday relaunching the casino will also be returning to its usual schedule of operations.
Ms. Brownless said that unfortunately as of right now live performances will not be back at the casino property. She explained that it will most likely make its return as the province enters Stage 3 of the reopening plan. The General Manager said that there are many requests for acts bookings at the venue, and she believes that the stage will be full again very soon.
Stage 3 of the reopening plan is scheduled to begin only after 70% of all eligible Albertans have received at least one dose of a vaccine for the unprecedented situation. Once this happens, the provincial government will be easing the health and safety restrictions and the ban on indoor social gatherings will be lifted.
Tough Times for Charities and First Nations
The suspension of brick-and-mortar gambling has been a severe financial hit for many charities in the province, that usually rely on financing from the casino. According to the Alberta Gaming, Liquor & Cannabis Commission over 1,200 charitable organizations have endured the negative effects. First Nations have also been impacted as for example Enoch Cree Nation has lost almost CA$26 million in revenue due to the closure of River Cree Casino.
With no land-based gaming the Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis Commission has launched an online expansion for its lottery offering. The Crown company now offers online lotto tickets to the province, on its platform PlayAlberta.ca. Fans of the draw-based games will be able to enjoy titles such as Lotto Max, Lotto 6/49, Daily Grand, Western Max, Western 6/49 on the website.
Source: Clausing, Shane “Great Northern Casino to re-open Thursday”, Everything GP, June 8, 2021
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