Gateway’s Ontario Casinos Remain Closed For 10th Straight Day

Written By Dave Briggs on April 25, 2023
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All 14 Ontario casinos operated by Gateway Casinos and Entertainment remained closed for a 10th consecutive day on Tuesday. But phased re-openings could begin soon.

A cyber attack on April 16 forced Gateway to close the casinos.

Rob Mitchell, a spokesperson for Gateway, told various news outlets that the company hopes to have some of its Ontario gambling facilities open again later this week.

“We are testing out IT systems and are now working to safely reopen our Ontario operations,” Mitchell said, adding that it hasn’t been determined, yet, which properties would open first.

“We anticipate reopening using a phased approach later this week. Timelines will depend on the success of testing and approval by regulatory bodies.”

Massive cyber attack to blame

The day after the April 16 cyber attack, Gateway issued a statement saying it had been victim of a “cyber security incident” and that its Ontario casinos will remain closed “in the coming days as we work to restore our IT systems.”

“We have retained third-party cyber professionals who are working 24/7 to help us restore the IT environment. Our upmost concern is the protection of personal data and information. At this point, we do not have any information indicating that this incident involves any compromise of personal data. However, we are in the process of notifying the relevant privacy officials and [the] gaming regulator of the incident.”

Notably, Gateway’s 15 casinos in British Columbia and two in Alberta remain open. The cyber attack did not affect those facilities.

Gateway’s Ontario properties

Gateway Casinos, based in Burnaby, BC, is one of the largest gambling companies in Canada. The private company is controlled by the Catalyst Capital Group, a Canadian private equity investment firm.

The newest Gateway casino opened in Wasaga Beach in November of 2022.

In Ontario, Gateway operates the following casinos:

  • Casino Rama Resort
  • Gateway Casinos — Innisfil
  • Playtime Casino — Wasaga Beach
  • Gateway Casinos — Clinton
  • Cascades Casino — Chatham
  • Gateway Casinos — London
  • Starlight Casino — Point Edward
  • Gateway Casinos — Sarnia
  • Gateway Casinos — Woodstock
  • Cascades Casinos — North Bay
  • Gateway Casinos — Sault Ste Marie
  • Playtime Casino — Hanover
  • Gateway Casinos — Sudbury
  • Gateway Casinos — Thunder Bay

Concerts at Casino Rama postponed

Casino Rama, Gateway’s biggest property in Ontario, postponed last Friday’s Chris de Burgh concert and Saturday’s Warrant, Quiet Riot and Helix concert.

The de Burgh concert has been rescheduled until April 27. The Warrant, Quiet Riot and Helix concert has been rescheduled for Oct. 7.

Further, tickets will be valid for the rescheduled date for customers who already purchased seats for the postponed shows through Ticketmaster or My Club Rewards.

The casino says those unable to make the new dates can request a refund from the original point of sale.

Notably, a Scott McCreery concert set for Saturday is the next show on the Casino Rama schedule. As of today, that concert is still going ahead.

Casino Rama victim of a 2016 cyber attack, as well

Between 2004 and 2016, an anonymous hacker allegedly breached Casino Rama’s computer systems. At that time, the casino was operated by Penn National Gaming (now Penn Entertainment) on behalf of its owners, the Chippewas of Rama First Nation and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation.

Notably, Gateway took over operation of Casino Rama in July 2018.

That earlier attack saw sensitive data comprised for between 10,000 and 11,000 customers, employees and vendors, said the casino. Lawyers representing plaintiffs in a $60 million class action lawsuit against the casino said the number of people affected might be as high as 200,000. In May of 2019, the Ontario Superior Court declined to certify a class action against Casino Rama.

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Dave Briggs

Dave Briggs is a managing editor and writer for Catena Media. His expertise is covering the gambling industry in Canada with emphasis on the casino, sports betting and horse racing sectors. He is currently reporting on the gaming industries in Canada and Michigan.

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