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Ontario gaming venues to begin reopening from July 17


The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) will permit certain casinos and charitable gaming centers to resume operations when the province enters stage 3 of its reopening plan, starting on July 17. 

While the return of land-based gaming sees the Canadian province continue to return to normal following the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, the venues – which have been closed for four months, since March 16 – will be subject to tight restrictions.

Maximum occupancy, for example, will be limited to 50 customers, while table games must remain suspended.

The venues permitted to reopen include all casinos in the East Gaming Bundle, which covers the counties of Kawartha, Belleville, Peterborough and Thousand Islands.

Venues in the North Gaming Bundle, covering Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and Thunder Bay and the Central Bundle, covering Rama and Innisfil, as would Rideau Carleton Casino in Ottawa will also be permitted to reopen.

In addition, the OLG said some casinos in the West Bundle, covering Brantford and Grand River, and most casinos in the Southwest Bundle, covering Clinton, Hanover, Woodstock, Chatham and London, would also reopen.

“Eligible casinos and charitable gaming centers have been selected on the basis of location and risk, subject to the advice of public health officials,” OLG explained.

All casinos reopening must have a safety plan reviewed by an appropriate expert and submitted to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) and masks will be required for all customers.

“Re-opening dates for eligible casino and charitable gaming centers will be set by the service providers and communicated by them,” the OLG added. “The specific reopening date for each gaming site will vary depending on a site’s readiness and commercial viability to operate under the mandatory restrictions.

“The health and safety of casino customers, employees and the host gaming communities remains as always, a priority for OLG and its service providers.”