Casino Rama plan given green light, reopening date not set in stone yet

Reopening plan got the okay from Rama First Nation COVID-19 Task Force

While a plan to safely reopen Casino Rama has been given the go-ahead from representatives of Rama First Nation, the casino’s parent company says they haven’t set a date to reopen its doors.

Rama First Nation Chief Ted Williams announced on Wednesday the casino is set to reopen in the coming days, but by invitation-only. This comes after the facility shut down in mid-March in the early days of the pandemic. While many other gaming centres across Ontario were given the green light to reopen in the summer, Casino Rama remained closed.

A statement provided to Barrie 360 by the casino’s parent company Gateway Casinos and Entertainment indicates there is still work to be done. “There are still a number of steps Gateway must go through before we can determine a date for re-opening,” reads the statement. “When those details are established, including a confirmed opening date, a formal re-opening announcement will be issued by Gateway.”

The statement indicated the plan to reopen did get the blessing from the Rama First Nations COVID-19 Task Force. “We are happy that they have reviewed Gateway’s Health and safety protocols for re-opening under the current government criteria and given their endorsement for Gateway to re-open Rama under those restrictions, which include a customer capacity of 50 patrons, no live table games and the mandatory use of face masks.”

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Casinos in Ontario were permitted reopen as of July 17, but Casino Rama remained closed, saying then it needed to continue its work with government and public health officials to put health and safety measures in place. Georgian Downs in Innisfil, also owned by Gateway, reopened in early October.