Chances casino opens Thursday

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With the province moving into step three of the reopening plan, Chances casino will open…

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – With the province moving into step three of the reopening plan, Chances casino will open its doors after more than a year.

Casino GM Leanne Johnson has been busy hiring staff to replace those who moved on to other jobs or communities.

“As heartbreaking as it is, our staff had to move on. We lost about two-thirds of our workforce to other employment here in Fort St. John, as well as throughout the province. We have been re-hiring, and we’re still re-hiring or hiring new people,” said Johnson.

Chances casino closed down 471 days ago in response to the growing COVID-19 pandemic. Johnson believes the normally quiet summer season will be the busiest season as people rush back to the casino after the long layoff.

“The summer season is typically our slowest season in the casino industry, across any jurisdiction that I’ve worked in. With this reopening, we’re anticipating our busiest season will be upon us on Thursday, so we’re trying to hire a full complement of staff.”

There are still restrictions in the facility that will keep some departments closed, at least in the beginning.

“Happy to open the doors, but a little higher restrictions are in place for us. We’ve been forced to keep a couple of departments closed, specifically the tables and poker department, as well as bingo, will remain closed at this time until it’s deemed safe to reopen.”

Johnson says with COVID-19 standards in place, she is confident nobody will get sick from the casino.

“Our casino has always been very clean, but with our safety protocols in place, we’ve taken it to that next level. All of our staff that returned and the hires we have brought in are currently receiving extensive training on the proper cleaning and disinfection of the casino and how to maintain it regularly throughout the day and night. We are confident that there will be no transmission in our facility.”

Visitors to the casino will notice a different layout when Chances opens on Thursday.

“The first thing you’ll notice when you walk in is how clean it is. Secondly, we’ve rearranged the entire gaming floor. We moved every slot machine into what we’re calling gaming pods. Slot machines will be at least two metres away from each other, so the long banks of slot machines have been replaced with gaming pods where every machine is distanced by at least two metres.”

Johnson says the number one priority is the safety and security of all the guests and staff in the building.

“In our facility, masks will still be mandatory. The service providers within the province all stood behind the idea of maintaining that and keeping it mandatory for the first little while, anyway. Everything is physically distanced, sanitizer is available for all our staff and guests to use as they need. I would challenge any other industry to one-up us because it’s not going to happen.”

While safety is the top priority, Johnson wants guests to enjoy themselves too.

“We want them to have fun. It’s been a long road to get here, and people deserve to have some fun.”

Thanks for Reading! is the voice of the Peace, bringing issues that matter to the forefront with independent journalism. Our job is to share the unique values of the Peace region with the rest of B.C. and make sure those in power hear us. From your kids’ lemonade stand to natural resource projects, we cover it–but we need your support.


Give $10 a month to today and be the reason we can cover the next story.

Don't miss a news

story with our daily email!

This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.