Terrace city council is in support of casino reopening plan

Hillary Johnson

Terrace's city council has signed a letter of support encouraging the province to work quickly to develop a casino reopening plan. Terrace Mayor Carol Leclerc says city council toured Chance's casino to see the floor redesign, which she says accommodates social distancing.

"They have taken out the bingo area and spread the machines over that part of the floor's footprint. They have an extensive plan that they have submitted to the government. Everybody has to wear masks; they have cleaning protocols in place. Someone gets up from a machine, and they will have extra staff on, and a machine will get cleaned, and it will say that it has been sanitized. Their food and beverage I don't know how many seats they have in there; maybe 45 or something like that and 75 gaming seats, so when you add that up, it was approximately one-third of the capacity of the facility. So if the capacity is 450 people, there will be less than I think 135 - 140 people that would be allowed into the facility."

There isn't an official reopening timeline since the provincial government hasn't given the go-ahead to gaming operations to open their doors.

"I think the council is quite supportive because 55 people laid off at the casino right now, so that's 55 people in the city of Terrace. Of course, there is the loss of revenue for the city, and all of the organizations that depend on the gaming grant, don't have that opportunity. They feel like they have higher standards than the bars and night clubs in terms of being ready to open."

Leclerc says safety is the number one priority, but the current plan ensures guests' and staff's protection. She explains that the city receives 700,000 dollars from the casino in one calendar year, and without it fears they might have to cut services to make up for the loss or preferably find another way to replace that loss of revenue.

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