fter a 16-month closure due to Covid-19, Niagara Casinos opened its gaming floor doors on Friday, July 23 for a restricted number of patrons. “It absolutely exceeded our expectations," said Niagara Casinos president Richard Taylor.
Under the government’s third step in a reopening plan, indoor venues like casinos were able to take on customers at a maximum of 50 percent capacity as of Friday. Both Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara in Ontario's Niagara Falls reopened with physical distancing, masks, limited gaming and new safety measures, including barriers between machines. Both will be reopening gaming floors, which include slots, cafés and bars. However, most gaming tables, including poker, will be closed until July 30, with the exception of those offering electronic games.
Electronic gaming tables are available to play at Casino Niagara from 10am - 2am, with last entry at 1:15am.— Casino Niagara (@casinoniagara) July 26, 2021
Des tables de jeu électroniques sont disponibles pour jouer au Casino Niagara de 10h à 2h du matin, avec la dernière entrée à 1h15.
Although casino officials did not have a completed tally of customers from this past weekend, Taylor said that they are “thrilled to have been able to welcome back so many of our guests and associates”. As Niagara Falls Review reported, Niagara Fallsview Resort opened for a maximum of about 3,300 (it can typically hold 11,000), and about 1,900 at Casino Niagara, which holds 6,000.
“Overall, the feedback that we received from our guests and associates was very positive”, assured Taylor. “Guests are excited to be back on property as life begins to feel more normal. We received the feedback that guests felt more safe on property and appreciated the measures put in place”.
Niagara Casinos spent more than $1 million on health and safety improvements and features to prepare both sites for reopening. An additional $15 million was spent on renovations and gaming-floor expansions.
“After 16 months being off the job, returning with many new health and safety measures to implement, a new rewards system and many updates around the property, there were significant changes to their pre-COVID jobs”, Niagara Casinos President noted. “We had members from all departments stepping up to assist our guests in making their first visit back to the property a success.
During a media tour of Fallsview Casino Wednesday, Steve Weel, the company’s vice-president of gaming operations, said while just more than 1,000 employees would be called back for Friday’s reopening, the plan is to “ramp up business gradually as time goes on, and as restrictions ease,” which will see the other 3,000 called back.