Century Casinos Reopen Alberta Venues, Other Canadian Facilities May Soon Follow

Posted on: June 11, 2021, 10:25h. 

Last updated on: July 5, 2021, 01:22h.

Century Casinos has announced the reopening of its gaming properties in Alberta.

Century Casinos Canada reopen
A blackjack dealer at Century Casino St. Albert stands ready to deal. The company announced on Thursday it was reopening its Alberta gaming facilities for the first time in six months, as COVID-19 restrictions have been eased in the Canadian Province. (Image: Century Casino St. Albert/Facebook)

The Colorado-based company’s casinos in the western Canadian province are Century Casino & Hotel Edmonton, Century Casino St. Albert, Century Mile Racetrack and Casino, and Century Downs Racetrack and Casino.

All of the properties reopened Thursday, as Alberta entered Phase 2 of its 2021 reopening plan. That phase allows indoor entertainment and recreation facilities to reopen at up to one-third capacity.

Century Casino St. Albert said Friday its table games would remain open until 3 am Mountain Time.

It has been a while since we have been open, do not hesitate to ask any one of our dealers to walk you through a game,” the casino posted on its Facebook page.

However, Century Casinos officials are somewhat guarded about the future, as they said there’s no assurance provincial leaders won’t require another shutdown.

The announcement comes nearly six months to the day that the Colorado-based company had to close its casinos in the western Canadian province for a second time because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It also comes nearly a year to the day when Alberta first allowed real money casinos to reopen after the beginning stages of COVID-19.

According to the Alberta COVID-19 website, officials hope to lift all restrictions by early next month.

2021 Worse Than 2020 So Far

Unlike the US, casino gaming in Canada has not enjoyed a robust 2021. In fact, this year has been worse for the country’s casinos.

In April, Great Canadian Gaming Corp. announced the temporary closures of its two Nova Scotia casinos because of outbreaks in the Atlantic province. That left the country with just Casino New Brunswick open.

In some places, like British Columbia, casinos have remained closed since the onset of the pandemic 15 months ago. Other provinces allowed casinos to reopen, but shut them down again as cases flared.

While the US was able to distribute millions of doses of vaccines since the end of December, Canada did not have the same access, as it relies on the US for many medical supplies. That meant the country continued to see a steady stream of cases with little ability to stop the spread aside from resuming and maintaining business restrictions.

Other Canadian Casinos to Reopen Soon

Alberta isn’t the only province looking to reopen casinos.

In Saskatchewan, SaskGaming announced its Casinos Regina and Moose Jaw will reopen on June 20.

Hours will be limited to 9 am to 4 am Central Time in Regina. In Moose Jaw, the casino will operate from 9 am to 2 am CT.

In addition, only electronic gaming will be available, as table games in Regina will remain closed. Every third machine will be available to play, and electronic roulette, three-card poker, blackjack, and baccarat will be available.

Guests and employees will also undergo screenings before they can enter the premises. The casinos will have just one entrance and exit.

In British Columbia, where, again, casinos have not reopened since the pandemic first began, gaming facilities could reopen under limited capacity as early as July 1.

Elsewhere, it will likely be longer before casinos can reopen.

On Friday, Ontario, Canada’s most populous province, started Step 1 of its three-step reopening plan. Based on the province’s plans, it will be at least six weeks before casinos can reopen under Step 3.