After a 16-month pause, casino properties in British Columbia have reopened for operation. On July 1, Elements Casino Surrey, one of Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, reopened its doors to the public. In order to protect the venue’s staff and visitors, the property will operate with a limited player capacity and strict health and safety regulations.

Due to the occurrence of the unprecedented situation, all casino entities and gambling halls in British Columbia were closed down in March 2020. The province is now in Stage 3 of its economic reopening plan, which allows casinos to resume operations with reduced capacity and visitor volume after a 16-month break.

July 1 Reopening

The reopening of Great Canadian Gaming Corporation’s casinos in B.C. went as well as it could after being closed for nearly a year and a half, according to Chuck Keeling, a spokesman for the corporation. Mr. Keeling said that the reopening is challenging since staff must brush up on old skills and learn about the new mandatory health and safety rules as a result of the long pause.

Despite the limited capacity, Mr. Keeling added that the atmosphere at the casino was electric and everyone pleased to have come back.  The company has implemented the necessary social distancing measures, such as plexiglass barriers, improved sanitation, and altered table-game offers, to stop the virus from spreading. Visitors and staff must also wear a protective mask.

Casinos will be able to reopen to full capacity with no barriers on September 7 if there are no further setbacks or obstacles, according to the provincial government’s restart plan. Mr. Keeling, on the other hand, claimed that the company is happy to reopen, despite the lower capacity, and that it had put a lot of effort into the reopening since the plan was revealed on May 25.

Elements Casino Surrey’s General Manager, Michael Worth, said that the property’s buffet has not yet reopened, but that it will by September 7. However, there are food and drinks amenities as Foodies is operational. Slot machines are currently open 24/7, while table games are only available from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday to Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.

Property Update

Several of the gaming corporation’s casino properties in British Columbia have also reopened. River Rock Casino and Resort, Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, Elements Casino Victoria, Casino Nanaimo, Elements Casino Chilliwack, Hastings Racecourse, Chances Maple Ridge, and Chances Dawson Creek all reopened on July 1. All of which are operating at a reduced capacity and are subject to strict health and safety regulations.

Revenue Drop

Great Canadian Gaming Corporation has had a financially challenging 15 months as a result of the closure of its casinos across Canada. The gaming conglomerate’s financial results for the first quarter of 2021 were released in May. For Q1 this year the firm has recorded a negative Free Cash Flow of CA$70.5 million, which was significantly less in Q1 2021. This year’s quarter also reports a Cash inflow of CA$44.8 million which was CA$552.2 million during Q1 of 2020.