REGINA -- Additional COVID-19 restrictions came into effect in Saskatchewan on Saturday, closing casinos and bingo halls and reducing capacity for personal service businesses.

Casinos and bingo halls in Saskatchewan were ordered to close as of 12:01 a.m., Dec. 19.

In response to these new rules, Casinos Regina and Moose Jaw announced it would be laying off 327 employees, effective Monday.

It's a decision the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) believes it should have been a part of.

"Our first nations communities are the beneficiaries of the revenues generated by SIGA casinos operating across the province and these closures are having substantial and potentially lasting impacts within the first nations." FSIN Chief Bobby Cameron said in a statement. “"SIGA understands the seriousness and importance of doing their part to combat the spread of COVID-19 and they have respected and followed provincial guidelines, going above and beyond to keep everyone safe.”

FSIN will abide by the closure. Cameron said the SIGA casinos proposed operating at 12 per cent capacity, which is below the requirement for retailers and other businesses that are allowed to stay open.


The province has also implemented a 50 per cent capacity for personal services, including both staff and clients.

Personal services includes businesses like hairdresser/barber, esthetics, massage therapy, acupuncture and tattoo.

Event venues, conference facilities, arenas, arts venues, museums, movie and live theatres and banquet facilities may still host up to 30 people. This includes weddings, funerals and places of worship.

"In the event that there is any disparity between the Re-Open Saskatchewan guidance and the public health orders, the public health orders must be followed," the province said in a news release.


Further measures will come into effect on Dec. 25, limiting the capacity of retail services.

All retail services must reduce their capacity to 50 per cent. The province is also requiring “large retail locations” to limit capacity to 25 per cent.

“Large retail locations are defined as retailers with a square footage larger than 20,000 square feet,” the government said in a release.