Chances

All B.C. casinos and gaming centres, like Chances Kelowna shown here, have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry said Thursday the businesses would be last on her list to re-open.

Gamblers are out of luck if they're betting on getting inside a B.C. casino anytime soon.

The re-opening of gaming facilities, among the businesses ordered closed by a public health order in March, is not likely to happen soon, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry says.

"It would be last on my list to consider for reopening at this point," Henry said Thursday during the province's daily update on COVID-19.

"Because we know that that type of environment, one, it's an enclosed environment, and we know that many of the people who frequent that environment are older people, or people with underlying illnesses, perhaps. People who are more vulnerable to having severe illness from Covid-19

"So, you know, I would have to be convinced that there's a valid reason and a safe way to do it, and i think that's something that is for further down the line.

"It's certainly not in the first phase of what I'm considering, or what we're considering, in terms of how do we get things moving again in our economy and in our social structures."

There are 19 casinos in B.C. and 20 bingo halls or other types of community gaming centres. Kelowna has two such facilities, Playtime Casino downtown and Chances bingo hall and gaming centre on Springfield Road.

Total government revenues from all types of gambling was about  $1.25 billion in revenue in 2014-15, according to figures from the Ministry of Sports and Culture.

In that same fiscal year, the government distributed $96 million to communities that have casinos or bingo halls, and $135 million went to more than 5,000 community organizations and non-profit societies.