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Cyber attack will keep area casinos closed throughout weekend

Official could not put dollar figure on impact of shutdown and could not provide details of what needs to be done to restore IT system
empty gaming floor at casino rama
The gaming floor at Casino Rama is empty following a sudden shutdown that was put in place on April 16 due to a cyber attack. All of Gateway's casinos in Ontario will remain closed throughout this weekend, officials say.

A cyber attack targeting Gateway Casinos will keep Casino Rama and the company’s other 13 gaming facilities in Ontario shut down throughout this weekend.

Last Sunday (April 16), the large multinational company suddenly shut down all of its Ontario operations at 1 p.m.

"Over the weekend, we detected a cyber security incident and closed our operations in Ontario," noted a brief statement that was issued by the company after the shutdown.

The company announced it had brought in “third-party cyber professionals who are working 24/7 to help us restore the IT environment."

On Wednesday, it was announced this weekend’s two scheduled concerts at Casino Rama’s entertainment centre had been postponed. At the time, officials said they did not think other concerts, scheduled as early as next Thursday, would be impacted.

When asked about the cost, in terms of lost revenue, of what will be, at minimum, a week-long shutdown of its casinos, a spokesman said he could not provide any details.

Robert Mitchell was also asked if he could provide any details regarding the source of the attack and what has to be done to restore the impacted systems. He told OrilliaMatters he was unable to provide any details “at this time.”

The closure of the casinos has meant thousands of employees have suddenly found themselves temporarily out of work.

Earlier this week, Unifor 1090, which represents unionized employees at Casino Rama and Gateway Casino Innisfil, released the following statement:

"The Labour Relations representative from Gateway Casinos promptly notified the union of the cyber attack and the employer subsequently provided written notice to all Unifor Local 1090 members at Gateway Casino Innisfil and Casino Rama.

"Unifor Local 1090 expects and is fully confident the employer will take all reasonable steps to investigate the cause/source of the cyber attack and implement the necessary corrective actions.

"The union has been advised by Gateway that it is currently unknown if any sensitive employee information was compromised in the attack. Therefore, the union has formally requested the employer take immediate proactive measures to ensure our members are protected in the event their sensitive information has been compromised."

In an earlier statement, Gateway said there is no indication that any personal data was compromised.

"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 gaming regulator of the incident," said the release.

While the gaming floor at Casino Rama remains shuttered, the hotel and spa along with both the Weirs and St. Germain's restaurants are open.

Casino Rama opened its doors on July 31, 1996 and was open 24/7 continuously until they were forced to close during the province's pandemic shutdown in 2020.

According to its website, Gateway is one of the largest and most diversified gaming and entertainment companies in Canada with 29 gaming properties in British Columbia and Ontario and two additional properties in Edmonton, Alberta.