Industry Reports

Gateway Casinos Stirs the Pot with Controversial Layoffs in Orillia, Innisfil

Gateway Casinos & Entertainment is among the leading casino operators in Canada with casino complexes in three provinces. Its most recent announcement, however, is a concerning one for individuals from Innisfil and Orillia, as tens of individuals have received layoff notices.

The casino operator made it clear that the move has been prompted by optimization efforts that would help operation down the road. Seeking better work conditions and profitability is a priority for every casino operator, but sometimes this happens at the expense of staff members.

Layoffs and staff reduction could be classified as the necessary evil that would facilitate future operation on site of the gaming locations at Georgian Downs and in Orillia. In a recent statement it became clear that after an extensive evaluation of the pros and cons and the possibilities, Gateway Casinos would have to make a staff reduction at two locations.

Casino Venues See Staff Reduction

As it was confirmed, casino management wants to see nearly 70 individuals across Gateway Casinos Innisfil and Casino Rama exit the workforce. Citing its reasons for this change, Gateway Casinos listed a reduction of working hours of its family-friendly offerings including the dining zones adjacent to the casino venues.

That eventually calls for fewer people needed and a reduction. Furthermore, the casino operator is about to pour a substantial amount of cash into a new and improved surveillance system guaranteeing the well-being of people present at the facility.

The Gaming Management System of both venues would also go through an improvement. At the end of the day, a business is only as successful as its prospects of expansion, something Gateway Casinos values highly. In this sense, the possibility of staff reduction was considered being a fitting approach combined with other moves.

It has been confirmed by the casino operator that most of the people would be reassigned, but also many of them would utilize the voluntary exit incentive program. This would mean that some of the casino employees would choose to leave and receive monetary compensation for that.

Future Projects Need More Attention and Resources

Most of the people that would have to exit Gateway Casinos’ staff are currently employed at Casino Rama. Among future plans of the casino operator is a fast-paced expansion in areas such as London, where Starlight Casino London would rise soon; Chatham-Kent, which recently saw the soft launch of Cascades Casino Chatham.

North Bay is also currently seeing construction work on the new CA$31-million Cascades Casino North Bay, whereas Wasaga Beach locals are getting used to the idea that a casino complex would not be built in the downtown area of the city. Sudbury is another major topic for the casino operator that had its expansion plans stalled by the delayed Kingsway Entertainment District project.

Now Gateway Casinos is seeking a temporary casino venue that would see operation once the Sudbury Downs slot venue’s license expires. Kenora is also preparing for an entirely new casino that would bear the brand Playtime and cost about CA$21 million. The Wauzhushk Onigum First Nation launched a lawsuit against the casino operator and Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation accusing them of favoritism.

These projects would need more attention and eventual staff reduction. Unifor Local 1090 protecting thousands of Gateway Casinos employees, expressed its disappointment with the announced move.