Just like the US, Canada is also working hard on reopening tactics for its casino industry. Ontario is the largest province in Canada by population, and its authorities allowed casinos to open their doors once again after the shutdown caused due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, what remains unclear so far is whether the casino operators actually intend to reopen soon or not.
The Ontario government announced that the third stage of economic restart allowed all casinos and charitable gaming centers to open their doors in some regions starting Friday, July 17. The Ontario Lottery & Gaming Corporation (OLG) joined this and requested all casinos and similar venues to submit health and safety precautions plans before reopening.
Moreover, the OLG limited operations of casinos in Ontario in several ways. Perhaps the most important one is the fact that all table games will remain prohibited until further notice. A total of 50 customers will be allowed inside a gambling venue at any given time and will be required to practice physical distancing of at least two meters among them.
Which Casinos Can Reopen?
Not all casinos in Ontario are allowed to reopen, though. Stage 3 allowed reopening the venues in certain locations only. Moreover, health officials determined which casinos are safe to reopen, meaning they have a low risk of spreading the virus.
Almost all casinos in the East Bundle and most in the Southwest Bundle are allowed to reopen. All casinos in North Bundle and Central Bundle are also allowed to open their doors to visitors once again.
Naturally, it’s up to individual casino operators to decide whether it’s financially viable for them to operate under the imposed conditions and mandatory restrictions. For example, Gateway Casinos reportedly informed its staff at Casino Rama that the venue would not reopen until further notice. According to them, it’s not economically feasible for the casino to let only 50 customers at the same time.
Ontario is the largest Canadian province by population, but it is also the one to record the highest number of COVID-19 cases and deaths. On Wednesday, the government confirmed a total of 102 cases, which doesn’t seem to bad.
However, that’s the lowest number of confirmed daily cases since the start of the pandemic in this area. A total of 2,732 Ontario residents fell victim to the coronavirus, which is almost one-third of all deaths in Canada.
On the other hand, many other Canadian provinces already started reopening their casinos. For example, all casinos in Saskatchewan, Quebec, and Alberta are now open to the public. However, casinos in British Columbia are still waiting for their turn to reopen.
The process of reopening is slow, and Canadian regulators are taking all the time they need to come up with the best possible reopening plans. There are still no official dates about reopening of some casinos in Ontario, but now that they are free to operate once again, we can expect some operators to announce reopening dates.
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