Casino Rama Gaming Floor Getting 'Refresh' But No Timeline Yet for Reopening
February 23, 2021
Casino Rama has been closed for nearly a year and there remains “no set timeline” for its reopening, according to Barrie Today.
The report cites an internal memo sent to employees this week that suggests there are plans afoot to “refresh” the casino’s gaming floor.
“At Casino Rama we will be using the continued closure time to refresh our gaming floor,” notes the memo sent by the casino’s operator, Gateway Casinos and Entertainment. “The changes will include reconfigurations of the slot and table floors as well as refreshing slot product. The new floor design will also be better aligned with the volumes we were experiencing prior to closure.”
Casino Rama was ordered closed by the OLG on March 16, 2020.
Rob Mitchell, director of communications and public affairs for Gateway, said it’s not clear when the casino might reopen to the public. “No decision on re-opening has been made at this time as we continue to monitor COVID infection numbers in the region. We will only re-open with the approval of Rama First Nations working in conjunction with local public officials and the visitation limitations prescribed by the provincial government.”
Corey Dalton, the president of Unifor Local 1090, says the plans for the "refresh" will entail the removal of about 400 slot machines and 20 table games but “there will not be an alteration to staffing levels” at the gambling facility near Orillia.
“There were 1,050 Unifor members before the pandemic,” Dalton said, per Barrie Today. “The reconfiguration of the floor (and the removal of the slots and tables) is not expected to have any impact on staffing levels.”
Mitchell said the union leadership has been involved in the process.
“The work is being done by Gateway's corporate slots team, who are responsible for all gaming floor projects at all Gateway sites in Ontario. The union has been notified of the renovations and are fully aware of the project and have been actively involved in the recall of staff who are working on the refresh,” said Mitchell.
“While the gaming floor is in part being reconfigured to better align with the new landscape created by increased competition within the gaming industry across the province, we also believe the refresh will improve the customer experience. The new layout will provide customers better access to their favourite games and allow guests to more easily navigate the gaming floor."
Mitchell notes the refresh was being planned prior to the COVID-19 pandemic as business volumes "did not warrant the number of machines we had in operation at the Rama location."
“The new design of the gaming floor aligns with the layout and gaming variety we successfully employ at other Gateway Casinos in the province that has proven very popular with our patrons,” he added. “There are no anticipated impacts to staffing as a result of the redesign.”
SOURCE: Barrie Today