Canada’s casinos slowly reopen after pandemic

By Charlotte Lee Updated

The land-based casino sector in Canada is slowly gathering momentum after the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt to gaming.

Calvin Ayre reports that last Friday, the Great Canadian Gaming Corp announced plans to reopen 11 casinos in Ontario that were ordered to shut in mid-March due to local COVID-19 infection rates.

The venues are scheduled to reopen on September 28.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation announced a “phased approach” to reopening the province’s casinos in July, but left the ultimate decision on when to reopen to the third-party service providers who manage day-to-day operations.

Few of these service providers saw then or see now much point in reopening given the restrictions, which include a maximum of 50 customers inside a venue at any given time, ensuring a minimum of two metres distancing between guests and no live dealer table games.

GCG said last Friday that its 11 venues will adhere to these guidelines, while also requiring slot jockeys to reserve a spot online before showing up at the casino.

GCG chief executive Rod Baker warned investors that “we expect no material financial benefit to the company from our 11 Ontario locations” under the current limitations.

Other large Canadian operators, including Gateway Casinos and Entertainment, have yet to announce plans to reopen their Ontario venues.

Gateway was said to be musing about subdividing Caesars Windsor’s gaming floors into as many as a dozen 50-person ‘pods’ that could isolate groups of gamblers from each other.

Swedish gaming operator ups its online casino production

Swedish state-owned gaming operator Svenska Spel Sport has increased its online casino production since signing a distribution deal with Nolimit City.

Inkedin reported in July that Nolimit City is a leading household name in localised Swedish gambling entertainment, with Svenska Spel accessing a range of the Malta headquartered tech provider’s “most popular titles.”

Within the terms of the deal, some Nolimit City names, including Punk Rocker xWays, Deadwood xNudge, Tombstone, Dragon Tribe and Harlequin Carnival, will be on view in the Svenska Spel online casino lobby.

Malcolm Mizzi, Nolimit City’s commercial director said: “We are beyond excited with this monumental partnership.

“We established a strong foothold in Sweden, now having a long list of key players live with our portfolio, we are eyeing the next big market ahead.

“Svenska Spel are without a doubt the biggest name we could ever hope for achieving.”

Pragmatic Solutions certified in Sweden

Online gambling platform Pragmatic Solutions marked an important milestone after receiving product certification in Sweden last year.

The company has added Sweden to the list of regulated territories it has been authorised to provide its PAM iGaming platform and has extended its availability in the lucrative and recently regulated market.

Casino News Daily reported last August that Pragmatic Solutions noted in a recent press release that Sweden has long been an important and extremely popular iGaming destination and after the recent reorganization of the market, the company’s certification was a necessary step in order for it to be able to tap into the regulated space and to provide its existing and new clients with its services.

Headquartered in Gibraltar, Pragmatic Solutions provides an online gambling platform that services all sectors of the growing iGaming and betting industry.

The PAM platform is flexible, modular and fully API based, and features complete UI control and powerful CMS as well as back office, CRM and wallet.

The platform also includes iGaming content by a number of third-party providers of products for the online gambling industry.

Most recently, Pragmatic Solutions announced that it has agreed to add online gaming content by Greentube, a division of gambling giant NOVOMATIC Interactive.

Under the terms of the deal, clients of Pragmatic Solutions now have access to Greentube’s most popular titles, including Book of Ra, the Reel King series, and Lord of the Ocean, among others.

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