Until recently, the construction of Gateway Casinos and Entertainment’s $31 million Cascades Casino in North Bay, Ontario, has been on hold. COVID-19 restrictions and the winter months have forced several months delay on the project.
The project was first put forward in 2019, and it was expected that completion of the 39,000 square-foot casino would be mid-July 2020. The North Bay casino will include 14,000 square feet of gaming space and feature 300 slots and ten live table games. It will also be home to Gateway’s signature restaurant brands, MATCH Eatery & Public House and The Buffet.
In a statement made by Rob Mitchell of Gateway, he said, “We felt we were far enough along with this casino that it made sense to build it out and complete it. Last November, we were able to pour the concrete floor and get all the rough-ins for plumbing and our cooking and electrical needs. Then we shut down the site for the winter.”
He further added that “At Gateway, we have developed extensive health and safety plans for each of our sites, which also includes two-metres physical distancing, rigorous cleaning and sanitation measures, and the mandatory use of masks for all individuals entering our gaming sites. All our plans have been independently reviewed by a health and safety subject matter expert and have been submitted to the regulator, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.”
The operators can’t confirm the exact opening date of the casino due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 and possible restrictions. A final opening date also depends a lot on public health authorities.
At one point, it was thought that maybe the plans would need to be changed, but the company is confident in its health and safety protocols. Rather than building to COVID, the company will adapt.
Williams stated that the intention is to proceed as planned and include all amenities. There is some question about The Buffet in the casino, but there will be an outdoor patio with live entertainment, there will be the Summit Bar and restaurants.
The design of the North Bay casino will be identical to the Chatham casino.
When the venue opens, it will most likely have to comply with the 50-person occupancy limit, along with any other health and safety protocols that are relevant at the time. The operator has stated that they will be ready and willing to implement any safeguards necessary to comply with provincial regulations and to keep employees and guests safe at all times.