Casinos in Ontario still not open despite being allowed under Stage 3
Casinos are still not yet open to the public in Ontario despite being one of the businesses permitted to resume operations in the 24 regions entering Stage 3 today.
The province released a new framework document at the beginning of this week which outlines everything that is and isn't allowed to happen under Stage 3, and it specifies that casinos are technically allowed to open — although table games at casinos and gaming establishments are not.
In Stage 3, nearly all business will reopen including:— Doug Ford (@fordnation) July 14, 2020
✅Dine-in restaurants and bars
✅Most personal care services
✅Live shows and movie theatres
✅Team sports and events
✅Guide and tour services pic.twitter.com/ug5Y1PRmr7
The document also notes that indoor gathering limits apply for casinos, meaning a maximum of 50 people — subject to physical distancing of at least two metres with people from outside their households or social circles — are allowed to be inside a casino at any given time.
Rob Mitchell, the director of communications and public affairs for
Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited, told blogTO there are currently no set reopening dates for any Gateway locations, including:
"Any plans for re-opening must be independently reviewed by a health and safety subject matter expert and submitted to the regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)," Mitchell said.
This is the reason why casinos across the province are not reopening their doors on the first day of Stage 3, but Mitchell did confirm that they've already developed extensive health and safety plans for each site, which includes two metres of physical distancing, rigorous cleaning and sanitation measures, and the mandatory use of masks or face coverings for all individuals entering the gaming sites.
Other Ontario casinos and gaming locations have also yet to publicly announce formal reopening dates, but it's likely only a matter of time before the AGCO approves their reopening plans and Ontarians are free to gamble once more.
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