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Ontario casinos set to return amid province lifting COVID-19 measures

Niagara's Fallsview Casino is set to reopen following another pandemic closing in January 2022 amid Ontario's COVID restrictions to suppress a wave fueled by the Omicron variant. Google Maps

Ontario casinos and charitable gaming centres are set to welcome back customers at the end of the month after shuttering in January due to the province’s latest COVID-19 restrictions.

Fallsview Casino Resort, Casino Niagara, Gateway Casinos in Woodstock and London, as well as Caesars Windsor are among the 28 OLG gaming venues that say they will reopen at half capacity on Jan. 31.

OLG spokesperson Tony Bitonti says proof of vaccination and COVID screenings will be required to enter any facility in the province.

Fallsview Casino Resort Hotel will also be re-opening on January 30th at 3 p.m.

The move is in line with Ontario’s lifting of public health restrictions at the end of the month.

Prior to the pandemic, an estimated 19,000 people were employed in Ontario’s casinos. Close to 3,500 were a part of Fallsview and Casino Niagara’s workforce.

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Read more: Here’s a look at Ontario’s planned timeline to lift COVID-19 restrictions

As of the 31st, indoor public settings including restaurants, bars, retail stores, malls, gyms, cinemas, meeting and event spaces can open to 50 per cent capacity.

It’s expected in late February that indoor public settings will fully reopen without limits for those providing proof of vaccination.

However, nightclubs, wedding receptions in spaces with dancing, bathhouses and sex clubs will still have to limit capacity to 25 per cent and maintain proof of vaccination rules.

 

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Late last year, Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati told Global News the closures of the gaming venues cost the city almost $20 million in revenue.

Diodati said the number didn’t include the economic impact the 2020 closures had on the surrounding area.

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