For the most part, Canada has done a decent job of keeping COVID-19 at arm’s length, but a spike seen over the last month is making some individuals anxious. Nevertheless, the country relies on its people to be responsible for helping to monitor the further spread of the virus and has been steadily reintroducing commercial activity, emphasised by strict social health protocols, as everywhere else.
The casino industry in the country was only able to take baby steps toward a full recovery, with some operators returning to work at the end of last month. With its wide footprint, Gateway Casinos chose to wait a little longer, however, but is obviously ready to take the plunge. The company revealed yesterday that this week, with others to come later, it would open some casinos in Ontario.
Between tomorrow, October 8th, and October 10th, 11 Gateway casinos will open. Playtime Hanover, Woodstock Gateway Casinos, Clinton Gateway Casinos and Chatham Cascades Casino will open tomorrow, while Starlight Point Edward, Sarnia Gateway Casinos, London Gateway Casinos, Sudbury Gateway Casinos, Sault Ste. Gateway Casinos Beginning Saturday, Marie, Gateway Casinos Thunder Bay and Gateway Casinos Innisfil will welcome gamblers back. However, for now, Casino Rama Resort is still going to remain closed.
Tony Santo, Gateway CEO, says of the relaunch: “We are excited to be able to re-open our Ontario properties and welcome back some of our team members and customers. The health and well-being of our employees and guests is our top priority. 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.”
Gamblers in and around Ontario shouldn’t get too excited, considering the announcement. Patrons are going to have to book their play time online in advance, according to Gateway, and only members of My Club Rewards will be able to make a booking. Even then, in order for him or her to be able to place the reservation-no invite, no reservation, no casino visit, the casino would have to give an invitation to the member first.
Those lucky enough to be offered the chance to go to a casino will contend with limitations close to those encountered elsewhere in the worldwide casino industry. Only slot machines will be operational in compliance with government-mandated rules, and casinos will not permit more than 50 people at one time on the gaming floor. No table games will be sold, and the amount of non-gaming facilities supplied will be kept to a minimum.
Apart from those introduced by the government, the temporary operating procedures are expected to help monitor COVID-19, thus allowing Gateway to get back on its feet. “This system will allow our staff to properly prepare the gaming floor for our guests, and ensure there is no congestion at the entrance as they wait to enter. Things may look and feel a little different around the property, but we remain committed to making your visit enjoyable,” adds Santo.