Between his two bars, Lackey has 21 VLTs – eight to one and 13 to the other. Neither location falls under the recently announced operating guidelines, which classify sites with more than 15 VLTs as “gaming entertainment centers”.
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In an email to Global News, Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis stated that “As part of the government’s announcement… all VLT retailers in areas under government enhanced status will not be permitted to operate VLTs. .
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“During this period, and specific to places where the main activity is food and drink (restaurants, pubs, lounges, etc.), only sit-down meals and drinks are allowed,” spokeswoman Heather Holmen said. .
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Entertainment such as billiards, games, darts and VLT are prohibited.
“It’s a double standard,” Lackey said.
“It will affect him greatly. Without the VLTs, we wouldn’t be in business. That’s about a third of the turnover. ”
AGLC has stated that businesses that have more than 15 VLT machines are considered “destination gaming facilities where the primary business is gambling, as are casinos, racing entertainment centers, and bingo halls.”
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They are subject to public health order to limit their occupancy to 25% of their capacity according to the fire code, Holmen said, but otherwise all VLTs and slot machines can function normally.
Lackey said he “didn’t understand the reasoning” and said his business would surely suffer if the government didn’t review the decision and “come up with a more viable answer.”
“I’ve been in business for 40 years now – it’s still easy going and it’s been a tough road to stay in business and make some profit.”
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The Government of Alberta introduced a series of new public health measures and restrictions earlier this week and declared a state of public health emergency, to deal with the continuing rise in the number of COVID-19 .
The province registered 1,227 new cases of the new coronavirus on Friday, bringing the total number of active cases to 14,217.
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