The Canadian Gaming Association is thrilled to be able to say “welcome back” as Canada’s gaming industry slowly begins to re-open. First up are Alberta and Nova Scotia, who announced that they will allow charitable gaming centres and casinos to open their doors to employees, customers, charities and communities. This is a milestone worth celebrating.

As you are well aware, in mid-March, Canada’s gaming service providers worked in cooperation with provincial governments to close down all casinos and casino amenities – restaurant, hotels, entertainment, and conferences and meetings – as we are a part of the broader hospitality and tourism industry.

We supported taking whatever steps were necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to keep our employees, customers, and communities safe and healthy, and that is the same commitment we are making to re-open our facilities.

The Canadian gaming industry is uniquely qualified to implement enhanced health and safety measures as we are the most highly regulated industry in the hospitality sector, and gaming sites implement operating standards that cover all facets of our operations on a daily basis.

We follow rigorous standards for health & safety and have a strong culture of compliance, as required by provincial regulatory frameworks set out by regulators. This is how we do business.

Regardless of where we are located, every service provider across Canada has created a detailed health & safety plan that will be implemented before facilities re-open and will be used to help keep people safe as we learn to live and work with COVID-19.

We are also working cooperatively with our provincial partners – regulators, lottery corporations, public health agencies – to ensure that we have a coordinated effort that demonstrates our unwavering commitment to health & safety.

The Canadian gaming industry is a large, mature industry that is present in every region of the country and generates significant benefits and activities across the broader Canadian economy.

Legalized gaming continues to be a pillar of the broader hospitality industry and raise significant non-tax revenues to fund key government programs and initiatives. Cities with casinos augment the tourism and convention industries and help transform the local tourism sector by driving new and greater volumes of local, domestic and international visitation.

We have approximately 100,000 front line employees who could not come to work during the government-mandated shutdown. We look forward to welcoming more service providers, employees, charities and customers back over the weeks and months to come.