Ontario casinos can reopen on January 31

Ontario casinos can reopen to customers at 50 per cent of normal capacity starting on January 31.

Casinos, bingo halls and other gaming establishments in the province had been shut down again on January 5 as Ontario returned to a modified version of Stage Two of its pandemic response plan.

At the time, that move was confirmed to be for a minimum period of 21 days, until January 26. On January 20, it was confirmed that casinos will be able to open their doors again slightly later than hoped, but still before the end of the month.

From January 31, the province will be moving forward with a 21-day period of loosening restrictions. Under that plan, casinos would be allowed to return to full capacity on February 21.

The closure this month had been the latest in a long line of shutdowns for Ontario casinos. Gaming centres had been off-limits in spring 2020 and then again in the winter of 2020-21, and had only finally been able to enjoy unrestricted operation for the first time in over a year in late October.

Now, the return to 50-per-cent capacity brings Ontario casinos in line with those in numerous other provinces including British Columbia and Nova Scotia.

The Canadian Gaming Association estimates there are 114 casinos in Canada, along with 200 permanent bingo halls and community gaming centres, that employ roughly 183,000 people.

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