Fact checked by Wilbur Thompson.
Casino Rama has finally reopened its doors this week following a three-week pause. The closure happened because of a ransomware attack that affected Gateway Casinos across Canada’s capital province, Ontario. Last week, thirteen other Gateway casinos resumed operations, signifying the return of customers to all fourteen Gateway Casinos.
Initially, on April 16, Gateway claimed that the company’s Ontario casinos were closed due to a system malfunction. However, they later acknowledged that they had fallen victim to a ransomware attack. Consequently, the closure resulted in over three weeks of financial hardship for many casino employees.
Gateway’s communications and public affairs director, Robert Mitchell stated that despite the shutdown and the uncertainty surrounding the cyber attack, people appeared comfortable returning to the casinos. Mitchell conveyed that the reception from customers as they are welcomed back to Casino Rama has been extremely favourable.
The casino employees faced challenging times, particularly considering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which had left them jobless for approximately two years. Greg Weaver, the second vice president for Unifor Local 1090, the union representing many of the casino’s staff, expressed how the past few weeks had been incredibly difficult for employees who were out of work due to the cyberattack. Weaver stated that it was challenging both financially and mentally. It had a significant impact on staff’s lives as nobody anticipated this. Weaver mentioned that the returning members were delighted to be back at work, acknowledging that it would take some time for Casino Rama to fully restore its operations.
During the gaming floor’s downtime, the resort’s hotel, two restaurants, and the spa continued to serve guests. Unfortunately, several shows at Casino Rama’s premium entertainment center had to be cancelled due to the closure. However, one week later, events resumed as usual, and the venue announced the addition of nine new shows to its lineup, featuring acts such as two-time Grammy-nominated punk rock band Papa Roach and hit R&B group Blackstreet.
Casino Rama was the last property of Gateway Casinos to reopen after the ransomware attack. Mitchell explained that restoring processes of all the properties’ online systems took some time. Gateway Casinos still doesn’t provide details regarding the identity of the attackers.