Local casinos gamble on reopening this week
LONDON, ONT. -- Casinos across southwestern Ontario will reopen in two phases later this week.
Gateway Casinos and Entertainment has announced it will reopen with rigorous COVID-19 protocols including adherence to the provincial cap of 50 patrons.
“The health and well-being of our employees and guests is our top priority,” states CEO Tony Santo in a media release.
Specifically, gaming facilities in Chatham, Woodstock, Clinton, and Hanover will open on Thursday.
Gaming sites in London, Sarnia, and Point Edward will reopen Saturday.
Table games will not be operating, but slot machines and limited amenities will be available.
“Things may look and feel a little different around the property,” adds Santo. “but we remain committed to making your visit enjoyable.”
Attendance will be by invitation, limited to ‘My Club Reward’ members who reserve a time online.
‘My Club Reward’ members will be contacted by email.
Gateway’s CEO expresses optimism that the province will permit gaming operations to offer more amenities in the future.
“We look forward to fully re-opening and welcoming more of our guests back in the future as capacities are increased and restrictions are lifted.”
Gateway’s locations in southwestern Ontario have been closed since March 16.
It’s unknown how many employees will be recalled.
Gateway is not yet reopening its Casino Rama Resort.
Casinos were permitted to reopen under when the province entered COVID-19 Stage 3, but so far only 11 locations operated by Great Canadian Gaming near Toronto opened on September 28.
Municipalities across southwestern Ontario have lost millions of dollars from revenue sharing agreements in 2020.
It’s unknown how the 50 customer cap will impact revenues.