Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation recently made it clear that a casino reopening across the province will have to happen in a gradual manner. The Crown corporation will take into account the health situation in every region hosting a brick-and-mortar casino location and proceed with its opening accordingly. Stage 3 of the business reopening plan of Ontario was greenlighted this week.
Ever since March 16 this year, in-person gaming in casino venues and gaming halls has been put on pause, as those venues had to close indefinitely. Physical distancing was and still is the mandatory practice that protects individuals. Both casino patrons and staff members are exposed to the threats of this unprecedented situation so they had to be protected through the closure of the venues.
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Now it is time action, as the third phase of the businesses reopening plan issued by the Government of Ontario was recently greenlighted. It includes casino venues and charitable gaming centers across the province, but it has been recently confirmed that the opening will require an evaluation of each individual case. All measures needed will be implemented ahead of the reopening.
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Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation made it clear that the casino reopening will come with some conditions and restrictions. All types of gaming hotspots will be allowed to welcome up to 50 individuals at a time, reducing significantly the number of people making their way there. This will promote distance between them and eliminate any potential clusters of people while gambling. They should also keep in mind the two-meter physical distancing requirement.
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This will be promoted with the switching off of some slot machines available on the premises of the casino floor, reducing their overall capacity. Moreover, the Crown corporation clarified that table gaming will not be available during the first phase of the casino reopening plan in Ontario. The gradual manner will remain consistent in this stage.
Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation issued a list of casino locations and gaming venues eligible for reopening whenever they consider themselves prepared enough for it. This includes all Great Canadian Gaming Corporation casinos in the East Gaming Bundle – venues in Kawartha, Belleville, Peterborough, and Thousand Islands. Along with those, venue sin Brantford and Grand River are also allowed to reopen.
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Gateway Casinos and Entertainment venues are also included in Stage 3 of the business reopening plan. The venues eligible for opening are located in the Southwest Gaming Bundle, spanning across Clinton, Hanover, Woodstock, Chatham, and London. Along with them the North and Central Bundle will also get a green light to relaunch operation. This will impact regions to the likes of Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, Thunder Bay, Rama, and Innisfil.
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It should also be taken into account that Rideau Carleton Casino in Ottawa will also be part of this reopening process. The venue is overseen by HR Ottawa. Now it is up to the casino operators to evaluate the situation in their own and decide which venues are most prepared for a gaming relaunch.