While many may have hoped for a 2022 free from the troubles of its predecessors, the challenges of previous years persist. The gambling industry in Ontario has been particularly affected by this with Casino Rama making a recent announcement that it would be closed for business for the foreseeable future. This decision by the casino is the result of the province of Ontario shifting to a modified version of Step Two of its reopening plan, which means more restrictions for casinos.
Premier Doug Ford advised that the changes would include restrictions on indoor venues like casinos, restaurants, and gyms. Following this announcement, Gateway Casinos & Entertainment advised that Casino Rama, which it operates, would be ceasing operations.
The closure of the casino went into effect on January 5, and a spokesperson for the operator advised that the company holds the health and safety of its staff and visitors as its top priority and that it is committed to halting the spread of the virus.
Robert Mitchell, a company spokesperson stated that the number of staff members that will be affected by the closure is currently unclear. He added that the opening of the property’s much-anticipated entertainment centre would also be put on hold.
This move affects Casino Rama’s live shows calendar which was announced in December 2021 where several shows had been rescheduled for the New Year.
A Cascade of Closures
Niagara Casinos responded to the provincial government’s declaration by announcing that both Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara would be closed down for approximately 3 weeks from Wednesday, January 5.
Richard Taylor, the company’s president, said that the summer had been a good time for business as patrons were able to return and enjoy the gaming facilities in a safe environment. Taylor added that the company is consulting closely with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation as well as the Public Health authorities to come up with a reopening date.
Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara are both highly important to the local economy of Niagara Falls as the city is granted a portion of the venue’s revenue every quarter. These funds are then directed towards investment in the local economy.