Casino Rama, Gateway Casinos Innisfil temporarily close amid COVID-19 concerns

Sunday 15th March 2020

OLG has temporarily closed all Ontario casinos until further notice

Casino Rama, Gateway Casinos Innisfil and all others across Ontario are temporarily closing as a precautionary measure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ontario Lottery and Gaming released a statement on March 15 saying that "an orderly shutdown of all casinos across Ontario" had begun.

Closures were expected to be completed within 24 hours.

The statement noted that the health and safety of casino customers and employees is a priority for OLG and its service providers.

"This action is consistent with the recommendations of the province's chief medical officer of health related to new precautionary measures for COVID-19," continued the statement.

OLG will provide an update on when the casinos will reopen, taking into account guidance from public health authorities.

The announcement comes after mounting pressure from Unifor officials. Corey Dalton, president of Unifor Local 1090 which oversees employees at both Casino Rama and Gateway Casinos Innisfil, had spent the better part of a week urging casino officials to temporarily stop operations.

"The safety and well-being of our members cannot be taken lightly. Do not wait until a casino worker contacts this virus and tests fate with mortality simply for doing their job," stated Dalton in a social media post on March 14.

Several employees at Casino Rama, and others across the province, submitted work refusals on March 14 due to concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier in the week, Casino Rama announced that the Chilliwack & Streetheart concert set for March 13, the Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons concerts scheduled for Saturday, March 21 & Sunday, March 22 and Celtic Woman Celebration 15 Years of Music & Magic concert scheduled for Friday, April 3 had been postponed -- but stopped short of closing the entire facility.

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