British Columbia casino workers feel ‘forgotten by government’

A new video released by the British Columbia Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) has given a voice to many casino workers in the Canadian province of British Columbia.

Many of the casino employees used the video to express concerns that the Canadian government has ‘forgotten’ about the industry throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under Canadian authorities’ current plans for the reopening of the economy, ‘the malls are open, the schools are open’, explained one Casino employee – a lot attendant named Manuela – who added: “I’m not understanding why the casino industry is not open, and I feel as though the government has forgotten about us.”

Terms for the reopening of businesses vary on a province-by-province basis, but general caveats include that public health limits and distancing must remain in place, and pre-COVID-19 standards have not yet been introduced.

Continuing, Manuela pointed out that both the union and the casinos had implemented safety protocols, claiming: “I am very positive that they have implemented everything they can do.”

Another slot attendant, Jagmeet, also remarked: “They put in all the safety measurements, everything in the casino, and casinos are still closed.”

British Columbia remains one of the few Canadian provinces to have no set timeline for the reopening of its casino industry, whilst other states such as Alberta, Nova Scotia, Ontario and New Brumswick have all announced plans for the relaxation of restrictions.

According to the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), the casino and gambling industry is ‘the largest segment of Canada’s entertainment industry’, supporting over 135,000 full time jobs and generating over $9 billion annually.

The organisation further claims in British Columbia, a total of 32,246 jobs are supported both directly and indirectly by casinos, the fourth highest out of the ten provinces of Canada.

Source: BCGEU YouTube Channel