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The way that casinos operate in 2020 has been irreversibly affected by the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Usually open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Montreal’s popular Casino de Montréal remains temporarily closed amid the resurgence of the virus. Furloughing has been a common theme, and over 1,000 employees in the Greater Montreal area have been furloughed to help casinos through the financial strain.

Situated on Montreal’s Notre Dame Island, Casino de Montréal is the largest casino in Canada. The building’s unconventional design dominates the landscape and encompasses both the France Pavilion and the Quebec Pavilion that were built for Expo 67. A refurbishment in 2013 saw the installation of a three-floor-high ‘digital wall’.

Casino de Montréal replicates Las Vegas vibe

Casino de Montreal

Casino de Montreal. Igor Galx, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Las Vegas, with its glitz and glamour, is an assault on the senses even for the most seasoned bettors. The same can be said of Casino de Montréal! Launched in 1993, Casino de Montréal is owned by the Société d’exploitation des loteries et courses du Québec (Loto-Québec), the administrative body that manages the Canadian Lottery. Its profits go to the provincial government.

This state-of-the-art casino is the largest in Canada, covering over 500,000 square foot. Its six floors boast 3,000 slot machines as well as 26 poker tables, 115 table games and five restaurants. Divided into six sections, each room can hold up to a maximum of 250 people.

When it comes to poker, Casino de Montréal has a wealth of choice, including no-limit Texas hold’em, limit hold’em and no-limit hold’em, and it holds regular tournaments to keep bettors engaged and coming back for more. There is also an interactive zone for players, which takes in both American and English roulette as well as sic bo. Games are played out on giant screens and the ambience is fantastic.

The casino’s dynamic character attracts bettors of all types, including Montreal residents, holidaymakers and business travellers. During pre-COVID times, it staged regular cabaret shows in its spectacular performance hall, complete with acoustic and visual installations. It also offers a choice of five highly distinctive restaurants to suit every dining taste and four bars with breathtaking views of downtown Montreal.

What lies ahead for Canada’s traditional casinos?

The coronavirus has been a catalyst for change. Over the past few years, online casinos have grown exponentially in popularity, encouraged by the increasing availability of smartphones, enabling bettors to play ‘on the go’ or in the comfort of their own homes. Players are craving an ever more immersive experience, as developers continue to upgrade the use of virtual and augmented reality.

However, when the lockdowns are over and the world begins to return to some kind of normality, players will be eager to get back to the traditional casino, to resample the intoxicating experience of an evening out, complete with wining, dining and cabaret entertainment.

While COVID-19 has sent shockwaves through the casino industry, business owners are confident that the casino scene will continue to grow. The industry is facing some challenges at the moment, but once the pandemic is over, Canadian casino players can continue to reap the benefits of both traditional and online casinos.

 

About the Author

Charles Kirk is a freelance writer who loves neon lights, tinkering with vintage timepieces, and reading steampunk.

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About the Photo

The photo in the header above is of the Casino of Montreal, which is located in pavilions from Expo67, the celebration of Canada’s 100th birthday. Photo by pinkcandy.

About the Author

Charles Kirk is a freelance writer who loves neon lights, tinkering with vintage timepieces, and reading steampunk.

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