Langley’s Cascades Casino has been shuttered since March 16 due to the coronavirus pandemic, and while businesses and attractions such as restaurants, movie theatres, and museums have opened their doors with restrictions in place – casinos remain in the dark.
Tanya Gabara, public relations director of Gateway Casinos, confirmed that there is currently no specific timeline for Cascades to re-open.
“Gateway has been working collaboratively with BC Lottery Commission (BCLC), Worksafe BC, and public health officials to create a health and safety plan for re-opening the casinos,” Gabara explained. “We feel confident that this safety plan puts in place the best protocols to ensure public health is protected for employees and customers. We are hopeful that once Dr. Bonnie Henry reviews this plan that she will allow us to re-open.”
While there remains no set date for the casino, Gabara said Gateway is pleased to have been able to re-open Match Eatery & Public House in early June and look forward to re-opening Atlas Steak + Fish on Thursday, July 2 at 4 p.m.
“Based on the amount of positive feedback received from our customers, the Match re-opening has been a great success,” Gabara said. “We were very pleased to welcome Mayor Val Van den broek and MLA Mary Polak for dinner during our opening week.”
Social distancing practises and reduced seating will be in effect at Atlas and no cash payments will be accepted until further notice.
Gabara did say there are plans in motion to reconfigure seating at slot machines and table games to ensure a two-metre distance between players to support physical-distancing at B.C. casinos.
“Physical barriers such as Plexi-glas would be installed where this is not possible or where casino employees, such as dealers or cash-cage staff, must interact with players,” she said. “Casino employees will monitor capacity to ensure that physical distancing is maintained.”
To minimize touch points, Gateway is working with BCLC to determine what types of table games will be offered to allow only games in which cards can be dealt face up, and that players will not be permitted to touch cards.
Frequent hand sanitation will be recommended, which Gabara would be provided free of charge to players and located throughout facilities.
Ongoing cleaning of touch points and gambling equipment, such as dice, will also occur.
Cascades Casino is a major employer that also directly contributes to Langley City by sharing 10 per cent of its net profits, as required under gaming regulations.
“We look forward to the day we can re-open and once again provide vital support to the many groups that rely on this type of funding to drive their programs,” Gabara noted.
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