Saskatchewan casinos adjust to new capacity limits

You can still go all-in at the casino, but it might look a little bit different than usual.

New capacity restrictions issued by the provincial government went into effect on Friday and are already impacting Casino Regina and Casino Moose Jaw, according to Shanna Schulhauser, spokesperson for the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation (SGC).

“Throughout November, Casino Moose Jaw averaged about 34 guests per hour, whereas Casino Regina’s guest count was averaging at about 93 guests per hour,” Schulhauser said. “We will continue to monitor the impacts of this capacity reduction at both properties.”

From now until at least Dec. 17, there is a 30-person capacity limit in place for all casinos, bingo halls, arenas, live theatres, movie theatres, performing arts venues and any other facilities that previously had a capacity of 150 people.

Food and beverage service can only be offered in a separate area, making the option of sipping on an alcoholic beverage while at a machine a thing of the past.

Schulhauser says it’s difficult to turn away so many people at the door, but she agrees with the capacity restriction and understands the decision.

“We wish we could have everybody in here who wants to be in here, but the safety and health of our guests and our employees are really important,” she said.

According to Schulhauser, people who attend the casinos have been very accepting of the capacity limitation so far, adding she believes people understand the reasoning behind the decision.

“Everybody has been very understanding of the fact that we’re doing this with everyone’s best interest at heart,” she said. “We’re doing our best to make sure that their safety and their health is of the utmost importance, and obviously that is paramount for both our guests and our employees. We are taking everything in stride.”

The casino has screening questionnaires in place that employees and guests must take before they are allowed into either the Regina or Moose Jaw casino.

Once people are inside, there are decals and signs detailing physical-distancing measures, as well as Plexiglas barriers, sanitization stations and thorough, routine cleaning by employees.

Schulhauser says it is too early to determine the financial impact that the new restrictions will have on the casinos, noting that despite the new restrictions there are no plans to close either casino unless asked to by the government.

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