It's not a sure bet, but Casino Rama could reopen later this week.
On April 16, the casino east of Orillia and 13 other gambling facilities operated by Gateway Casinos abruptly closed their doors due to what was termed, at the time, as a “system-wide malfunction.”
The company has since admitted they have been a victim of a ransomware attack. That means a hacker or hackers found a way to lock up the company’s IT system and is holding the company ransom until an unspecified amount of money is paid to them.
“While we have no evidence thus far that personal information of our customers or employees has been impacted, we have experienced a ransomware attack on our IT systems,” the company revealed in a media release.
“Unfortunately, cyber criminals often attempt to compromise personal information. We are continuing to work with third party experts on a 24/7 basis to determine if there has been any impact on personal information in this case.
“We want to reiterate that we have notified the relevant privacy officials, law enforcement, and government regulators about the cyber incident,” noted the release.
Robert Mitchell, a spokesperson for Gateway, told OrilliaMatters the company hopes to have some of its casinos open again later this week.
“We are testing out IT systems and are now working to safely reopen our Ontario operations,” Mitchell said.
“We anticipate reopening using a phased approach later this week. Timelines will depend on the success of testing and approval by regulatory bodies,” he said, referencing OLG and the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
When asked if Casino Rama, Gateway’s largest site, would be among the first to reopen, Mitchell said “it has not been determined which sites will reopen first.”
As of today, there is a concert scheduled for Thursday night at the casino’s entertainment centre.
Last week, two concerts slated for the April 21-22 weekend were postponed due to the shutdown.
Despite the closure of the gaming floor, Casino Rama's hotel has remained open along with two restaurants: Weirs and St. Germain's.
Casino Rama opened its doors on July 31, 1996 and was open 24/7 continuously until they were forced to close during the province's pandemic shutdown in 2020.
According to its website, Gateway is one of the largest and most diversified gaming and entertainment companies in Canada with 29 gaming properties in British Columbia and Ontario and two additional properties in Alberta.