Union Calls on Province to Reopen Casinos


The union representing thousands of workers at southwestern Ontario casinos is calling on the province to let them reopen.

Unifor Local 444 President Dave Cassidy wants to see the casinos — particularly Caesars Windsor — open under the same sound public health protocols that have guided other reopening’s during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cassidy tells The Afternoon News the 50 person cap on casinos isn't financially viable, but Caesars Windsor has a plan to split the building into 12 pods with a 50 person capacity in each.

He says the province has to okay the plan and trust the industry to do it right.

"The gaming industry knows how to follow rules, whether it's the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) or the Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) rules," added Cassidy.

He says it's frustrating seeing other industries move forward knowing casino staff would create a safe environment.

"We can go into a Walmart or Costco and I don't think the same measures are in place that would be in place in the gaming industry and that's problematic for us," he says. "We have 2,300 workers that still aren't back to work which is pretty tough on everybody."

Cassidy says the pod system for Caesars Windsor would only use six per cent of the casino's 10,000 person capacity.