Niagara Falls’ casinos still mum on reopening plans


Published July 13, 2021 at 6:19 pm


Despite the July 12 news that 11 Ontario casinos would be reopening under the Step Three restrictions, meaning 50 per cent capacity, both Niagara Falls gaming spots, Fallsview Casino and Casino Niagara have maintained radio silence on potential opening dates.

All 11 casinos reopening are owned by Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, based in Toronto, while the two Niagara Falls properties are owned by Connecticut-based Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment.

In fact, the last mention either Niagara Falls casinos made of their status was posted on March 16 when both issued an identical release.

“It has been one year since we temporarily closed our doors, and we are thankful for our incredible customers, associates, and we are excitedly awaiting your return to Casino Niagara,” the casino said on Facebook. (Obviously, Fallsview referred to itself in its post.)

“We continue to work closely with Government and Public Health Officials on our safe re-opening plans and we have been busy getting ready to open our doors again!” the status said, adding, “We do not have a confirmed re-opening date.”

Under Step Three of the Province’s reopening plan, which starts at 12:01 am July 16, facilities are allowed to open to 50 per cent indoor traffic.

While it’s just speculation at this point, it is possible that Mohegan is waiting for Ontario to hit Step Four and reach 100 per cent capacity, the same capacities their American gaming properties are running at presently.

In fact, the last time casino capacity issues were a serious problem for Mohegan was during the March 25 grand opening of their Mohegan Sun Casino connected to the new Virgin Hotel in Las Vegas. The two joined properties opened on the site of the former Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, off the Vegas strip.

However, at that time, Nevada had a 50 per cent restriction on gaming facilities. It turned out the Mohegan Casino, a 60,000-square foot gaming venue exceeded that by enough to earn them $60,000 in fines from the Nevada Gaming Control Board. They were cited with numerous COVID-19 violations at the time for customers neither wearing face masks nor obeying social distancing rules.

Back to Niagara Region, residents wishing to take a casino road trip can travel to the 11 casinos that will be opening on Friday. They are Casino Woodbine. Great Blue Heron Casino, Casino Ajax, Elements Casino Mohawk, Elements Casino Flamboro, Elements Casino Brantford, Elements Casino Grand River, Shorelines Casino Belleville, Shorelines Casino Peterborough, Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands and Shorelines Slots at Kawartha Downs.

Caesars Windsor, one of 60 properties owned by Caesars Entertainment Inc. recently announced they would reopen July 23.

(Photo of Fallsview Niagara courtesy of INFO-Niagara)

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