As Ontario prepares to enter Step 3 of its Roadmap to Reopen on Friday (July 16), a number of the province's expanded gaming facilities located at racetracks will reopen to the public.
Further to the announcement on July 9, 2021 from the Ontario provincial government that certain businesses can reopen, such as casinos, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation will be undertaking the required steps to reopen the following Ontario properties on Friday, July 16, 2021:
Great Blue Heron Casino
Elements Casino Mohawk
Elements Casino Flamboro
Elements Casino Brantford
Elements Casino Grand River
Shorelines Casino Belleville
Shorelines Casino Peterborough
Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands
Shorelines Slots at Kawartha Downs
Great Canadian is also planning to open the casino at the Pickering Casino Resort in the near future, with the remainder of the resort opening at a later date in 2022.
Under the Province’s current health and safety framework, Great Canadian's Ontario properties will reopen with reduced gaming capacity to reflect physical distancing requirements. The company will continue to work cooperatively with industry stakeholders and regulatory agencies on the easing of these restrictions in a safe and responsible manner.
“I’m very excited that the province has reached this milestone, and that Great Canadian is in a position to have thousands of team members return to work,” stated Terrance Doyle, the Company’s Interim Chief Executive Officer. “I want to thank our entire team for their resilience and patience the last 17 months, and I look forward to working with our team and welcoming our guests back to our Ontario properties. As we move into the current stage of the provincial plan to reopen the economy, I’m eager to continue working with key stakeholders on the next phase of reopening when it is deemed safe to do so.”
Gateway Casinos will also reopen its Ontario casinos on Friday. All casinos will be permitted to reopen at 50 percent capacity. However, Casino Rama Resort will reopen on July 29.
The health and safety of all employees, customers and community remains the highest priority at Gateway and all properties will continue to work with local and provincial governments; public health authorities and regulators to collaboratively prevent the spread of COVID-19. All Gateway Casinos will continue to apply the protocols recommended by the government, the Ministry of Health and local public health officials. These include PPE for staff, mandatory masking for guests, hand sanitation stations on the gaming floor, plexiglass barriers and social distancing.
“We are excited to finally re-open casinos and community gaming centres across the province, and welcome back our employees and valued customers into a very safe environment for gaming and dining. As always, the health and safety of our employees and customers are paramount,” said Tony Santo, CEO at Gateway Casinos. “We look forward to a safe and steady restart and the return to full operations as soon as possible.”
On Friday, all Gateway casinos in Ontario will resume operations. Gateway Casinos London, Woodstock and Innisfil will open their doors at 12:01 a.m. Clinton, Hanover, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Sarnia and Thunder Bay will open at 9:00 a.m. and Chatham, Point Edward and Sudbury will open at 10:00 a.m. Casino Rama will reopen on July 29 at 10:00 a.m.
“We operate in one of the most highly regulated business environments in the province with more rigorous oversight and controls than any other business in the hospitality sector,” continued Santo. “At Gateway, we have developed extensive health and safety plans that have been independently reviewed by a health and safety subject matter expert.”
(with files from Great Canadian and Gateway)