Canada: Ontario latest province to adopt vaccine requirements at casinos

Canada: Ontario latest province to adopt vaccine requirements at casinos

  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports
September 2, 2021 2:23 PM
  • Rege Behe, CDC Gaming Reports
  • Other

The Canadian province of Ontario Wednesday announced that some businesses will require proof of vaccination status starting September 22. The requirement includes all casinos, bingo halls, and gaming establishments.

The measure is being taken in response to the Delta-driven fourth wave of COVID-19 in Canada.

“As the world continues its fight against the Delta variant, our government will never waver in our commitment to do what’s necessary to keep people safe, protect our hospitals and minimize disruptions to businesses,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford. “Based on the latest evidence and best advice, COVID-19 vaccine certificates give us the best chance to slow the spread of this virus while helping us to avoid further lockdowns.”

According to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, there are 24 casinos in the province. Notably, Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara in Niagara Falls are popular destinations for U.S. tourists.

Ontario is the fourth Canadian province to adopt vaccine passport requirements. Quebec also introduced a similar measure on September 1, and British Columbia and Manitoba have announced plans to institute similar programs. There are 10 casinos in Quebec, 34 in British Columbia, and 8 in Manitoba.

The mandatory requirements do not apply to outdoor venues where the risk of transmission is lower, with the exception of outdoor nightclub spaces.

People with medical exemptions who can’t be vaccinated will be allowed entry to the businesses with a doctor’s note until recognized medical exemptions can be integrated as part of a digital vaccine certificate.

“We know vaccines provide the best protection against COVID-19 and the Delta variant,” said Ontario Deputy Premier and Minister of Health Christine Elliott in a statement. “To protect the health and well-being of Ontarians, our government will offer one more tool to encourage even more Ontarians to receive the vaccine and provide further protection to fully vaccinated Ontarians as they safely enjoy activities with their loved ones and support their local businesses.”

Rege Behe is lead contributor to CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at rbehe@cdcgaming.com. Please follow @RegeBehe_exPTR on Twitter.