Casinos in Elora and Brantford among 11 gaming properties in Canada to reopen
KITCHENER -- Two local casinos are welcoming guests back.
Elements Casino Grand River in Elora and Elements Casino Brantford, owned by Great Canadian Gaming, are among 11 properties that reopened Monday.
Lori Rutherford of Durham was one of the returning patrons to the Grand River location who was happy to be back playing the slot machines.
"It was good, they had 100 machines and there was 50 of us," she said. "There were machines to play on and you could find your favourites."
Great Canadian Gaming says it will adhere to provincial guidelines, including capping indoor gatherings at 50 people. Table games and some other amenities won't be operating.
Walk-ins will only be allowed when there is capacity for them, but at the Grand River location on Monday all bookings were full from previously made online appointments.
"We had a bit of a wait going in even though we were registered," said Rutherford. "You have to wait until everyone leaves obviously.
Other safety measures include no food service, protective barriers, and sanitization stations.
"They ID you and they take your picture going in without a mask," said Rutherford. "Everything is quite clean inside. There are ladies cleaning up after you as you leave."
Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic says casinos should remain closed as a second wave of COVID-19 hits Ontario, as people often travel from out of town to gamble.
"It could very easily see COVID-19 travelling between communities more than normally," he said. "That's why I think it needs a rethink."
In a statement, Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health says that the province has provided strong guidance to reopen the casino facilities and them staying open dependes on how well customers follow the health measures in place.
All daytime slots for the reopened casino locations are completely booked online until mid-week.
The Grand River location will be open each night until 2 a.m, while restaurants and bars have to close their doors by midnight under the new restrictions.
With reporting from Natalie Van Rooy