Dec 12, 2020 - Temporarily Closed. Casino Rama Resort is Ontario's premier gaming & entertainment destination and has earned a reputation for presenting exclusive world-class sporting, entertainment & television. Orillia Fairgrounds Farmers' Market; Scout Valley; Mara Provincial Park; Orillia Museum of Art and History; Pura Vida Soul Institute; Port of Orillia; Casinos & Gambling in Rama. Casinos in Rama; Popular Rama Categories. Fun & Games in Rama. Casinos in Rama; Spas & Wellness in Rama. Spas in Rama; Shopping in Rama. Gift & Specialty Shops in Rama. Only 1.5 kilometers from Lake Simcoe, Casino Rama Resort is a modern all-suite hotel with a casino and entertainment complex. The hotel offers 289 well-furnished rooms, seperate lounges, steakhouse, and 10 restaurants. Opened in 1996, Casino Rama Resort features a huge casino and its entertainment center has the capacity of accommodating 5000. Get directions, maps, and traffic for Orillia, ON. Check flight prices and hotel availability for your visit.
Casino Rama is making plans to reopen.
But it will be open by invitation only, there will be no table games available and no food or beverage service.
Rama First Nation Chief Ted Williams made the announcement today.
“We have been working with Gateway Casino officials and Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) for several months to explore options for the safe opening of Casino Rama,” said Williams.
Casino Rama and all provincial casinos were closed by the OLG in mid-March. While most other casinos have already re-opened, the massive gaming facility east of Orillia remained closed. Officials had said that, due to the size of the casino, it didn't make sense to re-open when only 50 people could be inside the building.
Today, Williams announced all parties “agreed on opening ... after consultation with the Rama COVID-19 Task Force, based on their overall satisfaction with safety plans.”
Williams and members of the First Nations council recently visited Georgian Downs, which is also operated by Gateway. That facility has been open, on a limited basis with extensive COVID protocols, for several weeks.
“We went to see the effect of the business with the proper protocols in place,” said Williams.
He said the Innisfil facility is adhering to public health guidelines by limiting the number of patrons to 50, mandating masks for patrons and staff at all times, signage that promotes safe practices and hand sanitizing stations.
He also noted “staff (are) ready to enforce protocols as is needed.”
Williams stressed there have been no COVID cases related to the casino in Innisfil.
“This week, (chief and council) toured Casino Rama with the COVID Task Force to talk about what we needed to see in our community,” said Williams.
During a video address to the community, Williams read some of the comments from unnamed task force members.
“I would be satisfied and comfortable with suggesting that reopening would be best for the community and the employees working for Casino Rama,” one member said.
Another said: “We were also glad to know there will be no food and beverage services as this eliminates additional risk.”
Another said “the system implemented for contact tracing with registration, facial recognition and video surveillance is better than some others in place.”
Williams said “it will take seven to 10 days to restore operations.” He said “our first priority is our community safety.”
Robert Mitchell, a spokesperson for Gateway, said there are still 'a number of steps' Gateway must go through before a re-opening date can be determined.
'When those details are established, including a confirmed opening date, a formal re-opening announcement will be issued by Gateway,' said Mitchell.
He thanked Rama First Nation for the 'ongoing dialogue,' saying they 'appreciate their care and dedication in reviewing our Health and Safety Plan' meant to ensure the safety of the community, employees and guests.
'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,' said Mitchell.
Unifor Local 1090 president Corey Dalton did not respond to a request for a comment in time for this story.
Casino Rama Orillia Address
However, Orillia’s Tshweu Moleme, a Unifor representative at the casino, said he’s “encouraged” by the news.
“Of course, one can only be cautiously optimistic at this time, given the rising numbers with COVID-19 and the province’s tightening of some restrictions, but I do commend the work that Rama Chief and Council are doing, working with the company, and the union, to make sure that workers can return to work and the business can restart safely,” said Moleme.
“This is an important business and employer in our economic region and when it is down, the community feels it,” he said.
“As noted in an OrilliaMatters article, yesterday, even area charities are struggling without the Casino and its good-hearted employees.”
It’s not clear how many employees might return to work under the new protocols.
This story will be updated when more information becomes available
Last week, 11 casinos operated by Great Canadian Gaming re-opened to the public after being shut down for more than six months due to the pandemic.
This week, Gateway Casinos & Entertainment is reopening all of its casinos - except for Casino Rama.
Beginning on Thursday, Oct. 8, locations in Woodstock, Clinton and Hanover will re-open and all other Gateway locations – except for Casino Rama Resort – will re-open on Saturday, Oct. 10.
According to a Tweet from the casino, reopening 'is not feasible to reopen a resort of this size.'
Under this framework, all properties will be restricted to the government mandated maximum of 50 guests, and will only include slot machines. Table games will not be operational and non-gaming amenities will be very limited, noted a media release from Gateway.
We know that everyone is looking forward to Casino Rama Resort will opening, however, it will remain closed for now. Given the current 50-person capacity restrictions it is not feasible to reopen a resort of this size. We ask for your patience & we will update as we know more. pic.twitter.com/f3PI9z1O33
— Casino Rama Resort (@CasinoRamaLive) October 6, 2020
“We are excited to be able to re-open our Ontario properties and welcome back some of our team members and customers,' said Tony Santo, CEO at Gateway Casinos.
'The health and well-being of our employees and guests is our top priority,' said Santo. 'We look forward to fully re-opening and welcoming more of our guests back in the future as capacities are increased and restrictions are lifted.”
Due to the 50-customer capacity restrictions, properties will be open to invited My Club Rewards members only. Invited members will be notified by email with details on how to make reservations.
'Maintaining a clean environment is a year-round priority and it is regular practice to clean all hard surfaces, such as door handles and tables,' noted the media release.
'Under the current environment, Gateway is being hyper-vigilant in our cleaning protocols throughout our properties to prevent the spread of transmittable illnesses, including COVID-19.
Gateway has implemented a new reservation and virtual queue system that will allow guests to book their play time online, check-in upon arrival and safely wait in their vehicles until the casino is ready for their entry.
“This system will allow our staff to properly prepare the gaming floor for our guests, and ensure there is no congestion at the entrance as they wait to enter,” said Santo.
Meanwhile, Casino Rama staff will remain out of work and the casino will remain closed; it was closed on March 16 by OLG, a provincial crown agency.
Unifor Local 1090 president Corey Dalton said provincial regulations are handcuffing casino operations.
“The Ontario government has placed extensive restrictions on casinos,” he said, referencing the closure of table games and 50-person limits.
“Both the Union and the employer have asked the Ontario government to review this cap,” said Dalton.
“Local 1090 maintains a strong belief that the guest-limit needs to be proportionate to the physical size of each casino. Casino Rama has one of the largest gaming floors in Ontario in terms of square footage - there is an ability for Gateway to provide safe, physical distancing for a larger number of patrons than other facilities which can be 20% (or even less) of the square footage,” Dalton explained.
Santo agreed, saying the “50-customer capacity limit ... makes reopening very challenging.”
Casino Rama Orillia Ontario Address
He said Gateway is “continuing to appeal to the appropriate government agencies in all provinces to allow us to re-open our operations in a safe and viable way.”