Cyberattack Leaves Gateway Casinos Employees Upset Over Personal Info Breach

Written By C.J. Pierre on June 9, 2023
Data Breach

Many current and former Gateway Casinos employees are very upset after learning their personal information may have been compromised due to a recent ransomware attack that temporarily shut down the company’s gambling facilities throughout Ontario.

That incident earlier this year forced the gaming floors at the company’s 14 Ontario casino properties to close for two weeks. However, the cyberattack has put the personal information of Gateway customers and employees at risk. Now workers are upset over how the company has handled the situation.

Though the cyberattack only closed Gateway’s Ontario casinos, the breach is now impacting the company’s employees working at Canadian casinos outside of the province.

Employees informed their personal information was compromised

Gateway Casinos in Ontario shut down their gaming operations on April 16 to a cyberattack. Gateway said the matter was resolved and reopened Gateway Casinos Innisfil on April 29. The rest of the company’s Ontario casinos opened in the following days and weeks.

Gateway recently released a statement updating patrons and employees about the fallout from the attack.

“While our investigation remains ongoing, Gateway understands that the incident may have resulted in the theft of personal information of certain current and former employees in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario,” the statement read. “At this time, we are not aware of any misuse of information. However, we take the privacy and security of personal information very seriously and want to make sure our employees are kept informed.”

Gateway said they are contacting employees to inform them of any possible unauthorized access to personal information. The company is also partnering with Equifax, a credit reporting agency, to provide potentially affected current and former employees with credit monitoring and identity theft protection.

Worker’s union is not satisfied

Unifor is a leading trade union in Canada that represents workers at Ontario casinos, including at the Gateway properties. Union chairperson Greg Weaver said Unifor had advocated for credit monitoring since news of the cyberattack broke. He told Barrie Today that he is unhappy with how Gateway is handling the situation.

“[Gateway] should have done it from the get-go,” said Weaver. “There is a major concern among our employees. Personal information is confidential, and if it’s out there, who knows what could happen.”

Weaver said the union is “disheartened” that Gateway chose to wait until confirming that personal information was compromised before agreeing to offer credit monitoring. He said Weaver added that Gateway Casinos workers are “extremely upset.” He adds that the employees have a right to be angry and can only hope the consequences of the incident won’t be severe.

“They don’t know if their info has been shared on the dark web or not,” said Weaver. “They just know it was susceptible.”

Still not many details regarding the cyberattack

In its original media release announcing the closure of its Ontario casinos, Gateway characterized the cause as a “system-wide malfunction.” It was days later that officials admitted the company was a victim of a ransomware attack.

Gateway officials have not said whether or not the company paid the ransom. They have also not said who was holding the company ransom. And, they have not said if a particular person’s information was targeted or compromised.

The company says it is continuing to work with law enforcement, financial regulators and “expert advisors.” So the investigation continues. However, the public and employees, for the most part, still have more questions than answers.

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C.J. Pierre

C.J. Pierre is a Lead Writer at Play Canada. He has been covering news and sports for over a decade for both online and TV broadcasts. He was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN and is an alum of Minnesota State University: Moorhead. He recently dove into tribal casino and online gambling news. He also covered the launch of sports betting in Arizona. C.J. has experience as a reporter and videographer and has covered high school, college and professional sports throughout his career, most notably following Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Vikings and North Dakota State University football.

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