Great Canadian gaming casinos in Ontario to reopen September 28th8th September 2020 |
Six months after the start of the lockdown in March, several casinos in Ontario including Great Canadian Gaming casinos have remained closed. This is mostly due to a 50-person cap on in-person gaming as part of the third stage of the Ontario reopening plan. This means that there must be no more than 50 players on the casino floor at all times, and for some casinos like Caesars Windsor, this is simply not financially feasible. However, after talks with the government, Great Canadian Gaming has announced that it will be opening the doors of its 11 gaming venues in Ontario on September 28, 2020.
This news comes as a huge sigh of relief to its workers, who are eager to get back to work and start earning a solid income for themselves and for their families. These employees have all stayed at home since they have been furloughed, relying on monthly benefit payments from the casino operators and the Canadian Emergency Relief Benefit. Unifor Local 504’s Cary MacMillan, the spokesperson for the union representing 500 of these casino workers, has said that the employees are looking forward to getting back to work, with all safety measures in place, and to start contributing to the local economy once again.
As part of the reopening plans, Great Canadian Gaming casinos had submitted to the government, and which have just recently been approved, the 50-person limitation will strictly be adhered to and there will be no table games like blackjack or roulette or any other amenities. “I’m pleased we are able to safely reopen our facilities in Ontario and New Brunswick, allowing us to bring back to work team members in each province,” stated Rod Baker, Great Canadian’s Chief Executive Officer. Still, such strict safety requirements will adversely affect its gaming revenues. In a press release, Mr Baker specified that “the reductions will be especially significant for our Ontario properties where, due to the 50-guest maximum restriction, we expect no material financial benefit to the company from our 11 Ontario locations.”
Other Casinos still in doubt
For other casino operators in Canada such as Gateway Casinos & Entertainment, reopening under the 50-player policy will remain a dream unless another possibility is found. In fact, Dave Cassidy, President of Unifor Local 444, has recently revealed that the operator is toying with the idea of placing special pods on the casino floor. The venue allows for 12 pods to be comfortably placed inside, with each pod accommodating 50 people, increasing the maximum capacity to 600 individuals. Although under normal circumstances the casino can accommodate up to 10,000 guests at any given time, this is still a huge improvement on the 50-person limit.
This could also pave the way for other Canadian casino venues to be able to start operating since increasing the number of players allowed inside would make operating the casinos financially sustainable. Health restrictions will still be complied with as table games will remain closed off, sanitisers will be provided on the premises and staff and players required to wear masks. Other casino operators across Ontario are now asking for direct dialogue with the government, adamant that they can operate successfully while still ensuring the safety of all their patrons.
Which Casinos will be open on September 28th?
The eleven of Great Canadian Gaming Casinos in Ontario due to reopen later this month include:
Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands
Shorelines Casino Belleville
Shorelines Casino Peterborough
Elements Casino Mohawk
Elements Casino Grand River
Elements Casino Brantford
Elements Casino Flamboro
ABOUT GREAT CANADIAN GAMING CORPORATION
Founded in 1982, Great Canadian Gaming Corporation is an Ontario based company that operates 25 gaming, entertainment and hospitality facilities in Ontario, British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia.
Great Canadian Gaming Corporation
39 Wynford Drive
North York, ON