After the announcement from the Province of Ontario of ease of health and safety protocols, casinos from the province are bracing for reopening. This week, the management of Casino Rama informed that the venue is ready and eager to restart work next Monday, January 31, 2022. This is also the day the province lifts some of the restrictions.
On January 5, 2022, Ontario announced that it will be entering a reformed Step Two of the business reopening plan. The decision was due to the rising cases of the new variant of the unprecedented situation across the province. Meaning that social venues such as casinos, bars, and restaurants were closed down to at least January 26.
Reopening Next Week
This week, Gateway Casinos & Entertainment, which operates several gaming properties including in Ontario announced that it’s the facility is ready to renew operations. The gaming hotspot is now ready to relaunch work on Monday, January 31, 2022, and the company confirmed that the property will be operating at 50 percent of its maximum guest capacity.
Robert Mitchell, Director of Communications and Public Affairs for Gateway Casinos & Entertainment shared that the company is quite pleased to be reopening its gaming facility once again and welcoming back staff members. The hotel, Simcoe Yard House Pub, and St. Germain’s Steakhouse will all be open. Weir’s restaurant will also work again on February 1, 2022.
The casino’s doors open at 10 a.m. on Monday, and staff members are already being recalled to work after the January 5 closure. Guests will be able to play slot machines and table games at the time. However, the centre bar will, for now, remain closed until February 21, when alcohol will be once again allowed on the gaming floor. The entertainment centre will reopen sometime on March 14, according to the company.
Niagara Falls also Reopens Casinos
Even more casino properties in Ontario are set to reopen on January 31, 2022, as both Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino and Resort are slated to welcome patrons again. Mayor of Niagara Falls Jim Diodati commented that he is delighted with the reopening since many of the properties’ staff members will also return. According to him, over 4,000 people are employed by the two properties.
Mr. Diodati explains that the two properties have made everything in their power to ensure that both are in an immaculate state and safe to welcome back guests. As a host of the casinos, the City of Niagara Falls receives quarterly payments from the OLG, which are crucial to the region’s coffers, meaning that the municipality is glad to have the gaming amenities up and running.
However, last year’s closure of Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino and Resort and the 2020 one have left their mark on Niagara Falls’ budget. Last summer, acting finance director Jon Leavens explained that in 2020, the region received CA$23 million from the OLG, however, due to the 2021 closures the city experienced losses in the amount of CA$19.1 million. The expert warned that the number could increase if another lengthy closure occurs.
Source: Evans, Tyler “Casino Rama all-in to re-open next week, ‘optimistic’ about plans”, Orillia Matters, January 26, 2022