This gang can’t shoot straight.

They must find these companies under a bush somewhere. We are talking about Gateway Casinos & Entertainment, a Canadian casino management company based in B.C., that is currently being taken over by an American company with deeper pockets. Gateway operates casinos in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario. In Ontario, the company manages casinos in central, northern and southwest Ontario, including Casino Rama, Innisfil Casino and one to be opened in Wasaga Beach. As we live in central Ontario, we can report that Innisfil has no craps and is an ongoing disappointment, Rama has fallen on hard times and Wasaga is coming.

The wife and I picked a bad day last week to stop at the Innisfil casino. I do not know if the weather report that said it was the coldest day of the winter so far, was to blame for the technical problems but it might have been reason for missing staff. It started with no staff for the coatroom. There were also some very grouchy slot players who could not get their payoffs because of a computer glitch. The wife was pleased when I said we could come back when people are happier.

And we know better than to eat in their restaurant. We have heard various excuses for the food there but it just seems to be poor quality, cooked without caring.

The company downgraded our favourite restaurant at Rama. They turned it into a burger joint. One thing I know about successful casinos after years of trips to Las Vegas is that if you stay away from the buffets, gamblers can expect good food. At Rama, the only thing this management company did with the other restaurants seemed to be to raise the prices. And, while I might be wrong, they seem to have simply cut off the comps while taking three months to convert to their own “Club Rewards” program.

I expect leaner times when they get the program started again.

But I think the system of comping gamblers on table games should borrow elements of the system in early Las Vegas where the pit bosses controlled the comps. These are the people who can see the action best. They know the gamblers best. And the people who stimulate the gambling and make it fun are not the whales of years gone by.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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