Canadian Casinos Continue to Be Affected by COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to be an issue in Canada with most casinos shut down in certain areas to avoid another outbreak.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a big issue around the world. For over a year now, officials in various countries have been trying to figure out how to handle the virus so more people will be able to avoid contracting it and be at risk of major health complications, even death. For the gaming industry, casinos have shut down, reopened, shutdown again or are operating on a restricted basis due to continued issues from the virus. In Canada, even more casinos just recently shut down as the virus remains a problem.
On Friday, the Great Canadian Gaming Corp. announced that after officials in Nova Scotia announced new business closures for Halifax, the company’s casinos in the capital is part of the closure. The Casino Nova Scotia is the latest casualty in Halifax, shutting down late Thursday. In the region, the number of positive COVID cases is increasing.
A total of 52 new cases were recently reported and there are 201 active cases. Most are new and are coming from the central region of the province, the Halifax area. Authorities in the province want residents to travel only if necessary. This would include legal and health care appointments, school or work.
Nova Scotia is asking that residents do not travel for unnecessary reasons such as visiting with family, shopping, and other social events. The new order will remain in place through May 20. This means the casino will be shut down for quite some time as the region tries to get the new positive cases of the virus under control.
Large Portion of the Industry is Affected
With the closure of the Halifax location, there are only two Great Canadian casinos that remain open. There are a total of 25 casinos in the area that are operated by the company. It is the Casino New Brunswick and Casino Nova Scotia that are still open. These venues are located in Sydney. While they are operational, the services are offered based on restrictions.
Great Canadian is not the only company in Canada that has been affected by government orders regarding COVID-19. Last week, Woodbine Entertainment Group saw its CEO speak out against officials in Ontario. Jim Lawson is not happy about the closures and claims the government is being inconsistent since they have a different policy for sporting events.
The professional hockey teams in the country can operate, such as the Toronto Maple Leafs. The team is currently playing games indoors. However, harness racing and thoroughbred facilities are not allowed to race.
Lawson no longer feels like he can give people hope that the racing industry will be back soon. According to the CEO, discussions on the matter have taken place, but nothing is happening. He feels like he is just banging his head against the wall and has no idea where to turn now.
For Canada, the issue seems to be the lack of vaccinations for citizens. The country does not have the ability to product vaccines, especially on the scale that is needed. In general, the country is reliant on the United States for the production and distribution of pharmaceutical needs. The US is currently working on vaccinating its own residents.
The hope is that the country will be able to provide enough vaccinations for residents that the restrictions regarding the virus can ease. It seems though that without a plan for massive distribution, it may be some time yet before the country is able to get back to normal. Perhaps if the US can finish its vaccination process quickly, they could then provide what is needed for Canada.