Some tremendous news emerged for Ontario gamblers last Friday, as the province announced that it will be easing the public health and safety protocols at the end of this month. Gaming operators such as Gateway Casinos & Entertainment are already making preparations to restart their casino amenities in the province, as January 31st has been set as a target date.
Ontario closed down casino properties as well as other indoor entertainment venues in the province on January 5, 2022, in an attempt to stop the spread of the new variant of the unprecedented situation. That is why the province entered Step Two of a redeveloped reopening plan, which was scheduled to be lifted on January 26th, 2022, however, the date is now January 31st.
Casinos Restart Work
In light of the new announcement from the Provincial Government, Gateway Casinos & Entertainment informed that it is ready to renew operations at its gaming amenities across Ontario. For example, the company announced that its Gateway Casinos Sault Ste. Marie will be able to renew operations on January 31, 2022, and welcome back patrons after almost a month of inactivity.
Patrons who plan on in-person wagering must know they will need to abide by certain health and safety protocols. They must present proof of full vaccination status via a QR code, as well as wear protective face masks. Visitors will also be separated from employees by plexiglass barriers. Casinos will also undergo thorough cleaning and sanitization, as the properties work at 50% of their maximum capacity.
Niagara Casinos Also Restart Work
Niagara Casinos also announced that its Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara in the province will also reopen doors for patrons. Starting from 12:01 a.m. on Monday, January 31, 2022, both properties will be able to renew operations, and welcome back guests at 50% capacity. Patrons must also present proof of vaccination by showing a QR code of an enhanced vaccine certificate.
The company also shared that the hotel part of Fallsview Casino Resort will recommence work at 3 p.m. on Sunday, January 30, 2022. The whole casino property will work 24/7, and its amenities would include a hotel, gaming floor, slots, regular and electronic table games, some dining venues. Casino Niagara will also operate 24/7 and it will offer similar services, while at the time poker remains paused.
Quarterly Payments Paid Out
Casinos in Ontario have a big impact on the local budget as every municipality receives a quarterly gaming-revenue allocation from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation for the hosting of a gaming property. Last week, Niagara Falls received its quarterly payment from the OLG in the size of CA$3.8 million. While Sault Ste. Marie received CA$273,611 for the hosting of Gateway Casinos Sault Ste. Marie
The City of Windsor is also one of the communities to bag a big allocation from the OLG for the hosting of Caesars Windsor Casino. The payment amounted to a total of CA$2,158,545, and it was for the quarter that started on October 1, 2021 and concluded on December 31, 2021. During its opening in 1994, the casino has brought over CA$72 million in non-tax gaming revenue to the region.
Source: Kelly, Brian “Casino reopens Jan. 31”, The Sault Star, January 22, 2022