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Gateway Casino in Innisfil remaining closed 'at the present time'

'We have no set timeline for reopening'
Barricades remain up, and Gateway Casino Innisfil at Georgian Downs remains closed. Miriam King/Innisfil Today

Stage 3 of Ontario’s reopening that took effect Friday included fitness centre, indoor seating at bars and restaurants – and casinos.

But Innisfil’s Gateway Casino at Georgian Downs won’t be opening any time soon.

“At the moment, I can confirm with you we will not be reopening Casino Rama in Orillia or Gateway Casinos Innisfil today,” said Robert Mitchell, Director of Communications & Public Affairs for Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Ltd. when contacted on Friday.

“At the present time, all Gateway casinos remain closed in Ontario as we evaluate how we can operate under the current capacity restrictions,” Mitchell said. “Right now, we have no set timeline for reopening any Gateway locations.”

Gateway has been looking at what would be needed to maintain social distancing and a safe environment within a casino setting, as well as the impact on revenues.

“We have developed extensive health and safety plans for each site, which includes two metre physical distancing, rigorous cleaning and sanitation measures and the mandatory use of masks or face coverings for all individuals entering our gaming sites,” Mitchell said.

However, he pointed out, “Any plans for re-opening must be independently reviewed by a health and safety subject matter expert and submitted to the regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).”

The ongoing closure means a fiscal loss to host municipalities like Innisfil. In a normal year the town receives approximately $5 million from the OLG, as its share of revenues generated by the casino tables and slots.

So far this year, Innisfil has received just under $1 million in the first quarter, with no further funds forthcoming until the casino can open its doors.

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Miriam King

About the Author: Miriam King

Miriam King is a journalist and photographer with Bradford Today, covering news and events in Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil.
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