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Saskatchewan temporarily increasing VLT commissions due to coronavirus

The SLGA said the commission paid to sites with VLTs will temporarily increase due to the novel coronavirus pandemic. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Mike Groll

The VLT commissions paid to bars and restaurants in Saskatchewan are increasing for the remainder of 2020, the Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA) said Monday.

Video lottery terminals (VLTs) were shut down in the province on March 20 due to the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Read more: What you need to know as Saskatchewan moves to final stage of Phase 4

They can restart operations on July 6 as part of Saskatchewan’s reopening plan.

The SLGA said the commission paid to sites with VLTs will temporarily increase from 15 per cent to 25 per cent from now until Jan. 3, 2021.

“Saskatchewan’s tourism and hospitality sector has a reputation for creating jobs and is an important contributor to the provincial economy,” Gene Makowsky, the minister responsible for SLGA, said in a statement.

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“The industry has been hit hard by the global pandemic and this temporary measure will provide additional revenues that will help hotel bars and restaurants maintain their operations.”

Read more: Remainder of Saskatchewan businesses ready to reopen by middle of July

Saskatchewan’s net income from VLTs was $155.3 million during 2019-20 and contractor revenues were $32.5 million.

The commission is paid to site contractors for providing space and electrical service for VLTs, paying out prizes, emptying cash boxes and cleaning the machines.

New cleaning protocols and disinfecting measures are in place, along with physical-distancing measures, the province said. Machines must be cleaned a minimum of once every hour or after every use.

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Remainder of Saskatchewan businesses ready to reopen by middle of July – Jul 4, 2020

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