BCLC is confirming that an orderly shutdown of all casinos, community gaming centres and bingo halls across B.C. is underway. The lottery expects the closure to be complete across the province by 11:59 p.m. local time on March 16, 2020.
The temporary closure of all gaming facilities follows the directive issued by Attorney General David Eby and announced today by Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry.
BCLC conducts and manages lottery, casino, bingo and online gambling on behalf of the province for the benefit of British Columbians. In B.C. private sector service providers operate gambling facilities under contract with BCLC. Together with our service providers, in anticipation that a directive was likely imminent, the industry came to a consensus on March 15, 2020 that casinos should suspend operations. BCLC then began working with service providers to plan an orderly shut down.
BCLC put the health of players, employees and communities at the forefront and took measures over the last number of days, informed by ongoing recommendations from the Provincial Health Officer. Most recently, the industry had been phasing in a reduction of service, creating greater social distance in the casinos by turning off every second slot machine, removing seats at table games and stopping all casino marketing.
BCLC thanks all of the service providers and their employees in B.C. who have collaborated during this unprecedented time. Facilities will re-open only once BCLC receives government direction that it is safe and appropriate to do. BCLC looks forward to welcoming back customers at that time.