Industry Reports

Gateway Casinos Still Evaluating Ontario’s Situation

Gateway Casinos & Entertainment is looking forward to the moment when it will be able to see the return of brick-and-mortar casino gaming in Ontario. Local experts in the field make their predictions regarding the upcoming weeks when it comes to the impact the past couple of months have had on the individuals engaging in gambling.

The gaming field of Ontario has been on pause ever since mid-March when all brick-and-mortar casino locations had to temporarily close for business. As a result, players were left with online gaming as the sole gaming option for weeks to come, a shift that has inevitably impacted Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, along with the casino operators developing their business.

Reopening this Summer

Ontario’s government recently highlighted its business reopening plan striving to revive various industries on a local scale and give them the green light to recommence operation. Land-based casinos are also part of this program, but for the time being, they will have to remain closed. The closure affects both casino operation and construction of new complexes.

Gateway Casinos is one of the operators directly affected by the closure which took place earlier this year. Its in-person gambling operation had to come to a halt, but this lockdown also affected the ongoing construction work in North Bay. For the time being, it has not recommenced, even though the government gave its approval to construction work in the first phase of the reopening plan. At the moment, the operator is paving the way for the eventual reopening of casinos.

It is supposed to involve greater preparation, as the casinos will have to be equipped with special plexiglass screens, marks on the floor, while the overall capacity of the gaming floor is reduced. Such a reduction is expected to also reduce the gaming revenue of the casino venues, at least over the first weeks of operation. Each casino will come with its unique layout and challenges.

Changes to the Casinos

Richard Paquin is the Unifor representative of the unionized casino workers employed by Gateway Casinos. He made it clear that the casino operator has yet to reveal its plan for action and the way the casinos will be changed. About 70 employees working at Gateway Casinos Sudbury are unionized and still waiting to return to their workplace.

It should also be taken into account that many people would refrain from gambling as soon as the casinos reopen. This is an inevitable consequence of the 12 weeks of physical distancing and the dynamically changing situation. Stuart Walker, President of Gaming Advisory Services, stated that the casinos have to keep in touch with their customers and keep them updated on the progress. The personal connection is what will keep their loyalty.

Rob Mitchell, Director Communications and Public Affairs for Gateway Casinos and Entertainment, recently confirmed that Casino Rama Resort is working on its reopening plan in collaboration with Ontario’s government eyeing all regulations and recommendations. Expansion of the casino floor, adding a smoking room was considered at the beginning of this year. Unifor Local 1090 opposed the idea, as this would present a health risk for the casino employees.