casinos ontario

This is when casinos might reopen in Ontario and what they could look like

Casinos seem to be one of the last places slated to open in Ontario as the province continues to allow more businesses and services to resume.

There's no formal word on when they'll reopen but presumably, it will be during Stage 3 since they weren't mentioned in Stages 1 and 2 (and there are only three stages).

Ontario is taking a regional approach to reopening so casinos may not open their doors at the same time. It will depend on the region the casino is in and when that region will be allowed to enter into Stage 3.

Casino Rama and Fallsview Casino have said that they're working on developing health and safety measures in preparation for reopening.

"This means we are collaborating with our gaming regulators and provincial health officials to develop a comprehensive health and safety plan for all our sites so that you have peace of mind when playing at our properties," reads a statement on the Casino Rama website.

Likewise, One Toronto Gaming has said it's yet to receive guidelines for reopening, but said: "we are very encouraged to see our provincial government releasing their plans for the staged reopening of businesses in the province."

"Although we still don't have any specifics as to when we may be approved to reopen, we are hopeful—for everyone's sake—that the reopening of the provincial economy in general goes smoothly, and is done in such a way that people's health and safety is always the foremost consideration."

Earlier this week, representatives from the casino industry pleaded with the Ontario government to let them reopen soon.

An image of what we can expect casinos might look like once they reopen can be glimpsed through those in Las Vegas that are already back in business.

For example, the MGM has developed a seven-point safety plan in accordance with government regulations that incudes mandatory masks, PPE, screening and temperature checks for employees. Guests are likewise encouraged to wear masks.

Signage and Plexiglass barriers are stationed around the space to help ensure visitors and staff maintain the required six feet/two metres apart.

Enhanced cleaning and sanitization procedures have been implemented with a focus on high-touch surfaces and common areas.

Improvements to air quality and circulation have been made and incident response protocols, in case of infection, are being enacted.

The resort and casino is also ramping up digital-first innovations, like contactless options for guests.

"We are putting the arrival experience into the hands of the customers, enabling them to complete the check-in process themselves, from beginning to end," it said.

"Guests will no longer need to wait in line, if they so choose. For guests without smart phones or prefer not to use, we will support in a line-reduced environment designed with our customers in mind."

It's unclear when some events held at casinos such as concerts will be able to resume, but officials have said that large-scale gatherings are unlikely for the foreseeable future.

Lead photo by

Laurent Gyot

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