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casinos reopening in ontario

Casinos in Ontario are finally set to reopen

While the majority of businesses have been operational throughout the province since Ontario first entered Stage 3 of reopening earlier this summer, one type of attraction has remained closed since the beginning of the shutdown: casinos.

Many Ontarians eagerly awaited their reopening when they were listed as one of the business types permitted to open under Stage 3, but those residents were met with disappointment when casinos across the province announced that they would remain shuttered despite the go-ahead.

That's finally about to change, though, as the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation has announced that they're reopening their 11 Ontario locations at the end of the month. 

In a news release issued Friday, the corporation said the 11 properties — which include Casino Woodbine, Casino Ajax, and the Great Blue Heron Casino — will be reopening on September 28 after first closing down on March 16. 

Locations will be adhering to provincial guidelines which state that indoor gatherings must be limited to a maximum of 50 people, and table games and other amenities will also remain closed for the time being.

Gamblers will only be allowed to use slot machines, and they'll have to reserve their spot online before showing up in person.

Health and safety measure will also be in place, including mandatory mask usage, social distancing, plexiglass barriers and more.

The company is also set to reopen locations in New Brunswick at the end of September, and they're currently working with the Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation on a reopening plan for the province.

Locations in British Columbia, meanwhile, will remain closed as mandated by the provincial government.

"Once open, gaming revenues in each jurisdiction will be significantly reduced due to operating restrictions," said CEO Rod Baker in a statement.

"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."

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