Beginning today, casinos in Alberta will keep their betting tables open an additional three hours each night. The move was recommended and validated by the Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission, which noted that increased operating hours will provide additional revenues to charities around Alberta that rely on gambling for funding.
Table games like blackjack, roulette, craps, and others were operational for 14 hours prior to the new laws. But the new rules extend operations for another 3 hours, which will allow tables to remain operational until 5am local time.
Many casino managers believe the Alberta government will approve 24 hour casinos in due time, a concept recommended by the AGLC. The organization issued a report about extending hours after consulting with various Alberta charities that benefit from casino revenues. Approximately 60 percent of charities supported the idea of longer hours.
“The majority of those in favor of longer hours cited increased revenue potential as the primary reason for doing so. For those charities opposed to expanded table hours, an increased burden on the volunteer pool was the biggest concern for most charity groups.”
Many nonprofit organizations run special fundraisers inside Alberta casinos, which typically last for two to three days. These fundraisers are managed by volunteers who support the organizations, and each group receives a cut of casino revenues each operating quarter that yields around $60,000 for each payout.
But some nonprofit agencies believe the longer hours will discourage volunteers from participating in the fundraisers. Leslie Evans, Executive Director of the Federation of Calgary Communities, believes volunteers struggled to balance working on the fundraisers under the old operating hours and will be further challenged under the new operations.
“I think the perception will be that they might as well not go to sleep for an hour or two, that they might as well go straight to work. I think that will deter some people.”