Great Canadian Gaming to reopen in Halifax & Sydney

Great Canadian Gaming to reopen in Halifax & Sydney

Nova Scotian gaming enthusiasts can join casino-goers from Ontario and New Brunswick in their happiness at casinos opening again. Great Canadian Gaming Corporation has revealed on Monday that it will be reopening its casino venues in Halifax and Sydney, Nova Scotia, on October 5. The grand reopening comes 6 months after both properties had to shut their doors along with all the casinos across Canada in mid-March. Great Canadian Gaming is reassuring enthusiastic casino-goers that although October 5 will be an exciting and long-awaited day, all safety measures and protocols will be in place.

New Health and Safety Measures

Great Canadian Gaming has come up with “rigorous and detailed” health and safety protocols, and the reopenings will be based strictly on these, along with adhering to the provincial health authorities’ guidelines. Although allowing more occupants in the venue than Ontario’s 50-person cap, the casino will still have to reduce its guest capacity to a third of what it usually is. This limit will ensure that there is enough space for patrons and employees to keep an adequate physical distance from each other. Other additional limits will include the reduction of slot machines by 40% and the frequent cleaning and disinfection of said machines after each patron is done from using them. Table gaming will still be off-limits, at least on October 5th, and there will be hand sanitizing stations placed strategically all over the casino floor.

Casinos in Nova Scotia were given the green light to reopen for business in mid-June, but the operators wanted to formulate a safe while profitable reopening strategy. This was done successfully with the help of Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation, which has been strategizing with Great Canadian Gaming all these months. Both operators have put their heads together to develop strict safety measures that will still allow them to have at least 60% of slot machines in operation in all their venues. Great Canadian Gaming owns a total of 25 venues in Ontario, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and British Columbia, all of varying sizes and layouts and so, requiring different rules and protocols. Rod Baker, the casino operator’s CEO, has said that “with the reopening of our properties in Nova Scotia, we will have reopened in three of the four provinces we do business in.” He also thanked Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation “for working with us to achieve this important outcome for our team members, our guests, and other valued stakeholders. This is another important step for Great Canadian and our team and the reopening of our 25 properties across Canada.” 

New Brunswick and Ontario

The casinos in New Brunswick and Ontario are expected to reopen from September 28 with stricter restrictions. Casinos in New Brunswick can only operate at 25% their normal capacity, with about 50% of the usual number of slot machines, and other activities and games remaining suspended. Casinos in Ontario have to respect a 50-person limit on players inside the venue, with no table games like blackjack allowed. Around 25 mayors from Ontario have come together to pen a letter to the Premier, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Finance and the Chief Medical Officer of Health to reconsider the 50-player cap, stating that this is “not workable” and that they are all worried about “significant job losses and economic impact”. CEO for the Canadian Gaming Association Rod Burns said that “we want to open in a safe responsible manner. We think we can do that. With higher capacities than fifty people, but not huge capacities. We’re still talking very very reduced numbers”, in an attempt to urge the people in charge to be more reasonable. According to the CGA, about 17,000 people in Ontario are still unemployed or furloughed.