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Casino Rama will be shutting down at midnight Tuesday

'We understand that the closure is required at this time to work toward a healthy and safe community,' notes internal memo to Casino Rama employees
casino rama outside sign 2020
Due to the province's move into a modified Step 2 lockdown, Casino Rama will be closing for at least three weeks as of midnight Tuesday. Dave Dawson/OrilliaMatters File Photo

Hundreds of employees at Casino Rama will be temporarily out of work later this week.

Earlier today, Premier Doug Ford announced the province is moving back into a modified Step 2 of its reopening plan - a move that impacts indoor spaces such as restaurants and gyms. It will also force Casino Rama and other casinos to shut down for three weeks.

Gateway Casinos and Entertainment, which operates Casino Rama and other casinos in the province, sent a memo to their staff this afternoon about the impending closure.

"In response to the Ontario provincial government announcing a modified Step 2, all of our Ontario operations will be temporarily suspended effective Wednesday, Jan. 5 at 12:01 a.m.," notes the memo.

"The health and safety of all employees, customers and the community remains the highest priority at Gateway and we will continue to work with local and provincial governments; public health authorities and regulators to collaboratively prevent the spread of COVID-19," the memo explains.

"We understand that the closure is required at this time to work toward a healthy and safe community, and we will be ready to return to operations when it is safe, viable, and allowable to do so," the memo notes.

The memo notes employees who are currently working and may be impacted by the change will be contacted in the upcoming days about the impact of the decision.

Gateway spokesperson Robert Mitchell said he was not able to provide details about the number of employees impacted at Casino Rama, which had been gearing up to reopen its entertainment centre before the surge of Omicron cases forced officials to postpone concerts that had been scheduled for January and February.

"At this point we must adhere to the government guidelines and remain optimistic that this a temporary measure that will be lifted in 21 days," noted Mitchell.