Great Canadian Gaming to Officially Reopen Casino New Brunswick11th February 2021 |
Casinos reopen finally after a difficult past 12 months for the gaming industry, with health and safety measures including the closing down of all brick-and-mortar casinos and gambling halls all across Canada to help decrease the spread of Covid-19. The province of New Brunswick and its residents also felt the consequence of these measures, with Great Canadian Gaming having to close its Casino New Brunswick to comply with national and provincial restrictions. This meant that players were unable to gamble in-person and community projects could not be supported through the generated gaming revenue.
However, a recent announcement from the New Brunswick provincial government has definitely brightened up a lot of people’s year. On Monday, February 8, the government announced “that certain businesses, such as casinos, can reopen”, so on Friday, February 12, Casino New Brunswick will once again be reopening its doors to welcome the local gaming enthusiasts. On-land betting will once again become possible, but guests and personnel will have to follow compulsory strict health and safety protocols in order to protect both the visitors and the staff, which will likely include mask wearing and disinfecting hands upon entering the casinos.
The lifting of some stay-at-home measures means that casinos reopen, but some rules which the casino has to adhere to are having a maximum player capacity of 50 individuals, and table games and slot machines will also be limited in number. This makes it the third Great Canadian Gaming operated casino to be reopened under certain mandatory conditions.
The other two are the Halifax and the Sydney in Nova Scotia. The Halifax Casino started welcoming patrons again on January 11, 2021 with limited food offerings, games and a player capacity of around 20% of its preclosure capacity. The Nova Scotia Sydney Casino reopened back in October 2020 with the same guest capacity as the Halifax, with limited food and beverage amenities, and no table games.
In Ontario, where Great Canadian Gaming has the largest number of casinos, all the corporation’s venues are still shut down. Woodbine Casino, Elements Casino Mohawk, Elements Casino Flamboro, Casino Ajax, Great Blue Heron Casino, Elements Casino Grand River all remain closed after suspending their operations at the end of last year. Elements Casino Brantford, Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands, Shorelines Slots at Kawartha Downs, Shorelines Casino Belleville, Shorelines Casino Peterborough were opened very briefly last year but were all shut down again in December 2020, even though they were all adhering to the mandatory health protocols. All the casinos are waiting to be given the greenlight by Ontario’s government, however, there currently seems to be no re-launch date for the province’s gambling venues. All gambling venues in British Columbia, including those managed by Great Canadian, have been closed since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020 and will remain so until further notice from the regional government.
Great Canadian Gaming is in for some changes in the not-so-distant future since it was granted approval for the company’s acquisition by the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The candidate that will purchase the company is US-based private equity company Apollo Global Management. They are set to buy the company at a cost of CA$45 per share, meaning that the investment management firm will have to fork out around CA$2.5 billion for the acquisition of all the company.
Image source: https://www.yogonet.com/international/noticias/2020/10/23/55193-great-canadian-gaming-reopens-casino-new-brunswick-again.
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