Great Canadian Gaming Corp. Down to Just One Casino Open After Latest Order

Posted on: April 28, 2021, 10:00h. 

Last updated on: June 30, 2021, 10:34h.

On Tuesday night, Great Canadian Gaming Corp. announced that its Casino Nova Scotia – Sydney facility would close temporarily effective the end of the night to help combat the spread of COVID-19 in the Atlantic province.

Canadian Casino Closed
Great Canadian Gaming Corp. announced Tuesday night its Casino Nova Scotia – Sydney would close temporarily as officials in Nova Scotia seek to control the spread of COVID-19. (Image: Tom Ayers/CBC)

The move came after Nova Scotia officials issued new restrictions on Tuesday that covered the entire province. That came less than a week after an order forced businesses in the province’s central region, including GCGC’s Casino Nova Scotia – Halifax, to shut down through at least May 20.

Tuesday’s measure, which officially took effect Wednesday, means the Sydney casino, located on Nova Scotia’s eastern coast, will remain closed until at least May 12.

On Wednesday, Nova Scotia, which is home to about 1 million Canadians, reported 75 new cases. Currently, there are 489 active cases, with 11 hospitalized and three people in intensive care.

Since October, the province has reported 1,201 cases. Two people have died.

One of the main reasons Canadian provinces are seeing upticks in cases is that the country is just now able to ramp up its vaccination efforts. In Nova Scotia, more than 294,000 doses have been administered, but only 35,549 people have received both doses.

“We are in a race between the variant and the vaccine,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “There is substantive risk of community spread across the province. We need to slow that spread until we are closer to population immunity through our vaccination program.”

In addition to the GCGC venues, this week’s Nova Scotia closure order also applies to all First Nations gaming properties and video lottery terminals in the province.

New Brunswick Only GCGC Casino Open

Like the United States, Canadian casinos closed last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. GCGC, which has properties in British Columbia, Ontario, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia, reopened its two Nova Scotia properties last October.

However, GCGC Interim CEO Terrance Doyle said in a statement that he understood the rationale given by provincial officials.

Our properties in Nova Scotia had been operating safely and restoring services as part of the phased reopening in the province, affording us the opportunity to bring back many of our team members and offer a safe and enjoyable environment for our guests,” he said. “With the increased presence of COVID-19 in many areas of Canada in recent weeks, we feel the various closures undertaken by provincial governments and health authorities are important measures at this time.”

The Sydney closure means the only GCGC venue currently open is Casino New Brunswick in Moncton. It operates 25 casinos and gaming venues across Canada, with most in Ontario or British Columbia.

COVID Forces Loto-Québec to End Restaurant Pact

In other Canadian casino news, Loto-Québec announced on Tuesday the termination of a contract with Groupe Robuchon, which operated L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon. The establishment has remained closed since March 2020.

“The exceptional circumstances arising from the Covid-19 pandemic and the uncertainty surrounding the time at which the Casino will reopen have informed this decision,” Loto-Québec said in a statement.