Extended downtown casino closures cost Alberta, Edmonton charities millions

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Extended downtown casino closures cost Alberta, Edmonton charities millions

Article brief provided by CBC
  • Madeleine Cummings, CBC
November 9, 2022 6:01 PM
  • Madeleine Cummings, CBC
  • Alberta
  • Commercial Casinos

Edmonton-area charities and the provincial government lost millions of dollars in revenue between 2019 and 2022 because of extended closures at the casino inside Rogers Place downtown, according to a recent Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission hearing decision.

Alberta casinos were directed to close for about five months in 2020 and five months in 2021 to limit the spread of COVID-19, but closures at the Grand Villa Casino in recent years exceeded those periods.

The casino reduced its operational days in the fall of 2019 and was fully closed between March 17, 2020 and July 18, 2022.

The Oct. 14 hearing decision reveals the casino’s closures added six weeks to fundraising event wait times for local charities and cost AGLC and its general revenue fund between roughly $3.8 million and $4.5 million.