There is some worrying news coming right after the start of the New Year for the gambling industry in Ontario. This week, Casino Rama informed that it will be suspending operations for a while. The reason behind this is that Ontario has entered into a modified version of Step Two from its reopening plan, which imposes new restrictions on casinos.
On Monday, Premier Doug Ford informed that the Province of Ontario will be going back to a modified version of Step Two of the provincial reopening plan. The changes include restrictions on indoor activities such as casinos, restaurants, and gyms. Shortly, after the news Gateway Casinos & Entertainment that operates the casino informed of the closure.
After Premier Ford’s announcement of the new restrictions, Gateway Casinos & Entertainment informed that operations at Casino Rama will be suspended on Wednesday, January 5, 2022, at 12:01. a.m. Spokesperson for the company commented that the health and safety of the staff members and patrons of the casino remain as the number one priority, as the company tries to stop the spread of the virus.
Representative of the company Robert Mitchell commented that currently, the company cannot provide details on precisely how many staff members will be affected by the closure of the casino. The property was just preparing for the long-awaited opening of its entertainment centre, however, due to the increased cases of the virus, shows set for January and February will be rescheduled.
This was not the only change of the casino’s live shows calendar, as at the end of December the property announced reschedules for several shows. This was due to the province, imposing a 50% limit on indoor gatherings for many businesses. Initially, some of the events were rescheduled for this month, however, this will not be possible as the casino closes doors.
Two More Closures
After the announcement from the provincial government on the new health and safety restrictions, Niagara Casinos have also made it clear that both Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara will also close down for around three weeks. Their closure is also set for Wednesday, January 5, at 12:01 a.m., as the new measure comes into effect on that day.
President of the company, Richard Taylor said that since the reopening of the gaming amenities in the summer, both of them have welcomed back patrons in a safe environment. Mr. Taylor explained that the company is in close discussions with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and the Public Health authorities to provide a reopening date in the following weeks.
The wellbeing and operational status of both Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara are of major importance to Niagara Falls. The city receives a portion of the properties’ gaming revenue for each quarter, which is used for investment in the local economy. For example, for the period of July 1 through September 30, 2021, the city received a non-tax gaming revenue payment in the amount of CA$4,668,393.
Source: Dawson, Dave “Casino Rama will be shutting down at midnight Tuesday”, Orillia Matters, January 3, 2022