Cascades Casino in Langley City is ready to reopen whenever provincial authorities will allow it, with a safety plan in place and steps already taken to prevent COVID-19 transmission, a spokesperson said Wednesday, Feb. 24.
Tanya Gabara, public relations director of Gateway Casinos, said the casino at at 20393 Fraser Hwy. has reconfigured seating at slot machines and table games to ensure a two-metre distance between players.
As well, physical barriers, usually Plexiglas, have been installed where this is not possible or where casino employees, such as dealers or cash cage staff, must interact with players.
Hand sanitization stations have been set up for use by patrons and staff on the casino floor.
“We are always hyper-vigilant in our cleaning protocols throughout the property to prevent the spread of transmittable illnesses, including COVID-19,” Gabara told the Langley Advance Times.
Gateway is ready to re-open and “confident that we can operate our facilities in a safe and responsible manner,” Gabara said.
“Gateway has worked collaboratively with all levels of government, local health officials, community leaders and BCLC (British Columbia Lottery Corporation) to build robust health and safety plans that are amongst the most rigorous and controlled of any public setting,” Gabara stated.
Cascades has been able to reopen the Match Eatery & Public House and Atlas Steak + Fish, but the casino remains closed.
Gabara noted BC remains the only jurisdiction in North America that has “completely refused to permit casinos to re-open, even in a restricted manner, during the pandemic.”
She said Gateway re-opened multiple casinos with capacity restrictions, barriers and physical distancing measures in Ontario and Alberta in October and November 2020, and again in early February, without seeing any instances of the spread of COVID-19, she advised.
“We believe that the Canadian gaming industry is a demonstrably safe indoor entertainment option that provides a vital alternative to indoor gatherings and other social interactions that are aggravating the spread of COVID-19,” Gabara said.
Cascades Casino is a major employer that also shares 10 per cent of its net profits with the City, as required under gaming regulations.
Revenues to the City run at around $6 million a year, funds that have kept taxes 2.5 per cent lower than they would be without the gaming revenue and has funded various civic projects.
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