Gateway Mulling Over Re-opening Procedures
Gateway Casinos & Entertainment says its currently still evaluating processes and decisions around the reopening of its land-based casinos in the province of Ontario. All physical casinos in the province; as well as the country, for that matter; have been closed for business since around mid-March. Players were as a result left with online gambling made available by Crown corporation Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) as their only alternative option for gaming and entertainment in all of Ontario; a situation which has had a significantly negative impact across the entire economic spectrum, affecting everything from job security to the capacity of casinos to remain in operation.
Local provincial government has since outlined its own commercial reopening plans. Land-based casinos are obviously part and parcel of the bigger plan to reopen the economy, but due to the close physical proximity of players within the typical physical casino setup, are for the moment to remain closed.
North Bay At A Stand-Still
But ongoing industrial closures have not only had a significant impact on actual casino revenue turnover and income, but also on in-process construction projects, one of which is the construction work now halted at Gateway’s new North Bay development.
Construction of Gateway Casinos & Entertainment’s new Cascades Casino North Bay has not yet resumed, even despite government already having given the construction industry the re-opening green light. The operator has not yet released any specific details regarding a timeline for recommencing with construction of its North Bay gaming venue, but has revealed that it is currently formulating a strategy for how to go about relaunching its casino operations in the best and safest possible way so as to comply with government and health-and-safety guidelines.
Safety A No. 1 Priority
Casino operators like gateway are considering a variety of options and safeguards so as to ensure the safety of patrons once gaming venues are permitted to resume business. These include physical distancing markers being applied to casino floors, plexiglass screens acting as special separators, and a minimised allowable player-capacity.
Gateway Casinos & Entertainment is currently working hard at formulating a practical and government-compliant strategy for a workable return to business. This, says Gateway Director of Communications and Public Affairs Rob Mitchell, is being done in close consultation with government and public health officials. The prime objective is to ensure a return to business without compromising the general health and safety of patrons.