Saskatchewan is set to reopen its casino properties in June after a long suspension. On June 20, the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority announced that operations at its seven gaming venues across the province will resume. The casinos will have a limited capacity, and all visitors will be required to follow the provincial government’s mandatory health and safety regulations.
Saskatchewan has announced that it will impose lockdown restrictions at the end of 2020 in order to contain the spread of the unprecedented situation. Most businesses, including the province’s gambling hotspots, were closed down as a result of this order. Gaming enthusiasts and casino workers had to wait for several months for the return of land-based properties.
The First Nation has announced that its gaming venues would reopen on June 20 with a maximum player capacity of 150. There will also be social distancing regulations in place, as well as limited health and drink options, as the company hopes to expand its offerings once limitations are eased.
Zane Hansen, President and CEO of the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority, indicated that the company is very excited about the idea of reopening the gambling halls and welcoming back its valued customers. He stated that the First Nation has taken the utmost responsibility to guarantee the safest possible conditions, stating that the health of the players and employees is the top priority.
The First Nation has even provided a schedule for its properties’ working hours when they reopen this June 20. Every day from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., Bear Claw Casino and Hotel will be open. The same daily schedule will be followed by Living Sky Casino. Painted Hand Casino will be open every day, but only from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m.
The schedules for the other casinos will be slightly different. From Sunday to Thursday, Gold Eagle Casino will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m., and from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. Gold Horse Casino will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. on Sundays through Thursdays, and from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.
From Sunday to Thursday, the Dakota Dunes Casino will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m., and from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Stat Holidays. Northern Lights Casino will be open from 10 a.m. to 3 a.m. on Sundays to Thursdays, and from 10 a.m. to 4 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and holidays.
As a precaution, Saskatchewan’s gaming properties were closed down on December 21, 2021, due to an increase in the number of unprecedented situation cases. 238 unionized and 89 non-unionized casino employees have been laid off temporarily as a result of this. The lockdown restrictions were supposed to last for 28 days, but the ban has already been extended until June of this year.
The suspension of casino properties in December was a major hit for Saskatchewan, since it impacted over 74 First Nations across the province. The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations argued that the government failed to consider the province’s First Nations, failing to notify them of the upcoming closure, and that tribal corporations were excluded from the discussions.