With the reopening of casinos across Ontario, the industry’s enthusiasm is being tempered by caution. With Canada currently weathering its fourth wave of infections, casinos have been forced to implement some drastic protective measures. From 22nd September any visitors to an Ontario casino will have to present proof of vaccination. This measure will apply to casinos, bingo halls, and all other gambling-related venues.
The decision has drawn its fair share of criticism, but the Ontario Ministry of Health has advised that it was not taken lightly. According to a ministry, spokesperson advised that this move is in response to recent spikes in local infections which present a direct threat to the local health system. The spokesperson went on to explain that mandating vaccinations for specific services would incentivise people to get the jab.
Aside from casinos, vaccination requirements are set to be introduced across several other industries. Higher-risk settings where large crowds amass, including gyms, bars, restaurants, nightclubs, fitness facilities, sporting events, cinemas, and others are also expected to start requiring vaccination proof.
Doug Ford, the Ontario premier, emphasised that the government holds the protection of citizens as its first priority. He added that keeping locals safe means safeguarding the medical industry’s stability and avoiding mass interruptions of local businesses.
He wrapped up by stressing that that vaccination is unequivocally the best way to prevent even more disruptive restrictions.
Looking to the future
Ontario is only one of many Canadian states that are introducing vaccination requirements. Quebec instituted similar measures on September 1 and Manitoba, along with British Columbia has revealed that they will be following suit shortly.
In Ontario, 24 local casinos have reopened and are undoubtedly fearful of the possibility of potential future restrictive measures that would prove devastating to their already embattled fortunes.
As a large percentage of Canadians are already fully vaccinated, it is unlikely that these new measures will encounter much resistance.