B.C. casinos, bingo halls shutting down due to COVID-19

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B.C. Lottery Corporation is shutting down all its casinos, bingo halls and community gaming centres across the province today due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

BCLC made the announcement in a media release today, March 16, on the advice from the Ministry of Health and the provincial health officer.

Lottery corporation spokesperson Cecilia Ho said Kamloops Cascades Casino and Chances Kamloops will be affected by the temporary closure. In the Okanagan, Vernon’s Lake City Casino, Kelowna’s Playtime Casino and Chances Kelowna and Penticton’s Cascades Casino will all be affected by the shutdown.

The closures are underway and are expected to be complete today before midnight.

"BCLC put the health of players, employees and communities at the forefront and took measures over the last number of days, informed by ongoing recommendations from the provincial health officer," the release stated.

"Most recently, the industry had been phasing in a reduction of service, creating greater social distance in the casinos by turning off every second slot machine, removing seats at table games and stopping all casino marketing."

The gaming facilities are not expected to reopen until the provincial government deems it safe and appropriate to do so, BCLC said.

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