With the provincial announcement on Wednesday, May 6, on lifting COVID-19 restrictions via a four phase plan, many are wondering when they can return to Cascades Casino in Langley City – which is approaching two months of having closed doors.
Tanya Gabara, public relations director of Gateway Casinos, confirmed that there is currently no specific timeline for casinos to re-open.
“As you know, on March 16 all BC casinos and community gaming centres were mandated to shutdown due to recommendations from the provincial government. We continue to follow their direction and guidance and our facilities across BC remain closed,” Gabara said.
B.C. is currently is phase one of the four phase restart plan where only essential services are operating.
Mid-May the province will implement phase two which will see the re-scheduling of elective surgeries and the re-opening of the retail sector, hair salons, in-person counselling, restaurants, parks, child care, parks and recreation “under enhanced protocols.”
Should transmission rates remain low or continue to decline phase three will be implemented starting June to September, which would see broader opening of parks, resuming film production, select entertainment, and students returning to the classroom – casinos included.
“The health and well-being of our patrons, employees and communities remains our top priority and we will reopen when the government determines the time is right. In the meantime, we are working diligently to ensure we are prepared to safely return to operations,” Gabara added.
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.
The City share, roughly around $6.4 million, has kept taxes 2.5 per cent lower than they would have been without the gaming revenue and additionally helped carry Langley City out of debt.
Mayor Val van den Broek told the Langley Advance Times that 2020 had already been budgeted, so the near future is looking good for Nexus of Community transit funding.
“I can’t say the same for the next couple of years, but I keep telling people that it’s baby steps. Staff are still working and we are planning to do a full review,” van den Broek said.
While she acknowledged that Cascades will likely be one of the last attractions opening in Langley City, van den Broek encouraged people to support the business by ordering food from the two restaurants Atlas Steak & Fish, and Match Eatery when they reopen.
“We look forward to working collaboratively with BC Liquor and Gaming Commission and provincial health officials to ensure enhanced sanitation and physical-distancing measures are in place to provide assurances to our employees and customers that our facilities are clean, safe and healthy,” Gabara concluded.
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