Will Social Distancing and Masks be the end of Canada’s Casino Industry?

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Canada’s casino industry, like the gambling sector all over the world, is in a lot of trouble.

The coronavirus crisis has forced bricks and mortar casinos to close their doors across the globe. The situation in Canada is no different, with the future of these businesses in doubt.

Online casinos have helped to fill the gap with the flexibility provided by such sites welcomed by customers who want to play their favourite games, which may include roulette and blackjack.

Preparations are now under way to get Canada’s casinos open once again. But with the experience set to be very different due to the impact of COVID-19, is the end nigh for them?

What will visiting a casino in Canada look like post-pandemic?

The coronavirus crisis is far from over, but economic issues mean it is important for society to get back to something approaching normality as quickly as possible.

While mass redundancies are likely in a lot of industries, Canada’s casino sector is hopeful that through taking special measures to increase safety, people can be tempted to visit them again.

Cashless payments through a system such as Apple Pay is among the innovations being rolled out by Canada casinos. According to Paul Burns, the president and chief executive of the Canadian Gaming Association, such a move has been in the works for many months.

“But the timing of this pandemic and technology has escalated this discussion,” he said in an interview with Global News recently.

Air conditioning units at Canada casinos could also be turned off. The University of Toronto’s infection control epidemiologist and assistant professor Colin Furness believes COVID-19’s spread could be facilitated through air conditioning, adding to the safety issues at such sites.

Social distancing measures are likely to be introduced too. Some slot machines could be turned off to give players using them more space, while limits on the number of people who can take a seat at the table for poker or blackjack might be brought in as well. Furthermore, it seems likely that Canada casino customers could be asked to wear masks to limit the spread of the virus.

What all this means is visiting a casino in Canada may no longer be an appealing experience.

Are online casinos ready to take over for Canadian customers?

Casino customers in Canada can be forgiven by being confused about the various rules and regulations that are in force for the sector in the country.

For example, it is illegal to operate a web-based casino in Canada, but there is nothing to stop people who want to have a bet from accessing a site that is based outside of the country.

Using online casinos is therefore quite common and has grown in popularity during COVID-19. After all, there are very few reasons to get dressed to go play some slots when it is possible to do so from the comfort of your own home instead.

Other benefits of playing at online casinos rather than visiting a bricks and mortar site include that they are open at all times of the day or night. People can play their favourite games whenever they want without having to check the opening times of their nearest casino.

Online casinos have a fantastic array of games to pick from, too, with more options than at a standard bricks and mortar casino. The number of games available to play at online casinos continues to grow all the time, helping to make such sites even more appealing to players.

The future of Canadian bricks and mortar casinos

With lockdown conditions continuing to be eased as Canada emerges from the coronavirus crisis, casinos across the country are starting to open their doors once more.

With around 100,000 people directly employed by the casino industry, this has to be considered a good thing. Alberta and Nova Scotia last month became the first to announce bricks and mortar casinos had been given the green light to welcome customers again.

“We look forward to welcoming more service providers, employees, charities and customers back over the weeks and months to come,” said a statement released by the Canadian Gaming Association a couple of weeks ago.

The body also pointed out that “significant non-tax revenues” are raised by casinos across Canada and this money is being used to fund key government programs and initiatives.

But with people having been unable to visit Canadian casinos for a period of around three months, perhaps they have got used to the benefits of gambling online instead.

Canadian casinos still face a long battle to survive, with online gambling taking over.






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