Despite government's green light for casinos

Gateway's Ontario casinos yet to set reopening dates

Innisfil’s Gateway Casino at Georgian Downs, Ontario.
Reading time 1:16 min
The company said Casino Rama in Orillia and Gateway Casinos Innisfil remain closed in Ontario as it evaluates how to operate under the current capacity restrictions, and plans must be submitted to the regulator before reopening. Stage 3 of Ontario’s reopening effective as of Friday includes casinos.

Innisfil’s Gateway Casino at Georgian Downs has not set a reopening date yet, despite stage 3 of Ontario’s reopening effective as of Friday including casinos, fitness centres, indoor seating at bars and restaurants.

“At the moment, I can confirm with you we will not be reopening Casino Rama in Orillia or Gateway Casinos Innisfil today,” Robert Mitchell, director of communications and public affairs for Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Ltd., told BarrieToday. “At the present time, all Gateway casinos remain closed in Ontario as we evaluate how we can operate under the current capacity restrictions. Right now, we have no set timeline for reopening any Gateway locations.”

Gateway has been looking at what would be needed to maintain social distancing and a safe environment within a casino setting, as well as the impact on revenues. “We have developed extensive health and safety plans for each site, which includes two-metre physical distancing, rigorous cleaning and sanitation measures and the mandatory use of masks or face coverings for all individuals entering our gaming sites,” Mitchell said.

However, he pointed out, “any plans for reopening must be independently reviewed by a health and safety subject matter expert and submitted to the regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).”

The ongoing closure means a fiscal loss to host municipalities, such as Innisfil. In a normal year, the town receives approximately CAD 5 million from the OLG as its share of revenues generated by the casino tables and slots. So far this year, Innisfil has received just under CAD 1 million in the first quarter, with no further funding forthcoming until the casino can open its doors.

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