For the most part, casinos across North America can be found open and packed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and even more so on the weekends. However, the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba is one of the last holdouts. That is about to change as they are set to launch a pilot project to test the all-night strategy out.
Beginning on Friday, December 2, Club Regent and McPhillips Station will stay open from 10:00 AM that morning until 3:00 AM on Monday morning. When there is a statutory holiday on the Monday, the casinos will stay open until Tuesday at 3:00 AM to account for the long weekend. There will be an exception for Christmas weekend when the casinos will shut down from 6:00 PM on Christmas Eve to 10:00 AM on Boxing Day, presumably to give their employees time to spend with their families.
Aside from that that, it is doors wide open for those casinos, which are the two casinos that are run by the province in Manitoba. This project is going to run for the next four months and then it will be evaluated by the government for the pros and cons.
Of course, there is some resistance to this plan as some researchers believe this will cause an increase in gambling problems. Some experts suggest that many players go to a casino because they don’t have access to a computer or credit cards, which is what is needed for online gambling. When they close, it gives them a chance to take a break.
Manitoba Liquor and Lotteries have reported that there are between 300 and 400 people still playing machines and table games when they’re closing and that’s a lot of traffic to just push out the door. It’s even busier on weekends, suggesting the demand is there for longer hours of operation.
Premier Brian Pallister believes that Manitoba might be the most over-serviced place in the country in regards to casinos, but he also doesn’t want to be the one to tell people what to do. Also, the government stands to make a lot of money from opening their casinos 24 hours a day, as the casino should make more money which equates to more tax dollars for the government.
That being the case, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see this program continue after the four-month run is up because the Manitoba government can find a lot of places to make that money go to good use.