Slots and live tables at Pickering Casino open (for real this time!)
It’s finally here! The Pickering Casino Resort at 888 Durham Live Avenue is open for business. In this, “Phase One”, of the casino’s long-awaited opening, guests are welcome to visit and partake in the casino’s wide variety of gambling amusements.
Only the casino floor is open to the public, along with a limited number of dining options. But that’s more than enough to draw cheers from excited locals; not to mention the executives at Great Canadian Gaming (GCG) who’ve been working so long to reach this day.
Slots and Live Tables at Pickering Casino Open
The designers of Pickering Casino Resort (a.k.a. PCR) were determined to build a perfectly quaint player’s paradise. Quaint in the sense that it’s not big enough to rival the tourist-town casinos of Niagara Falls, yet far larger than the original casino at Ajax Downs; now operating as a slots-only racino less than 15 minutes down the road.
The newly open casino floor at PCR plays host to a massive collection of gaming options. According to the company, there are exactly 2,399 slot machines in operation, along with 94 live table games to choose from. The live ‘stadium gaming’ area has been scaled back from 167 seats to 143, accommodating a more socially-distanced arrangement.
Limited Wining & Dining at PCR
Those with an appetite will find the Buffet Restaurant is open, but in limited capacity. For the time being, the restaurant is offering a “limited interim a-la-carte menu”. The buffet line is closed, with traditional seating and menu-ordering available. Though limited, the menu still offers a variety of appetizers, sandwiches, soups, salads, entrees, sides, desserts, and beverages, including a bar menu.
A-La-Carte Dining at the Buffet Restaurant is current available from 10am to 11pm Sunday through Wednesday, and 11am to midnight Thursday to Saturday. Max capacity is set at 80 seats. PCR hopes to expand its dining options in the coming weeks.
“The opening of the casino at Pickering Casino Resort is yet another step towards our company’s recovery from the impact of COVID-19 and means another 600 jobs created in the Durham Region in this first phase of the property’s opening,” said GCG’s Interim CEO, Terrance Doyle.
“This will be Great Canadian’s 25th property currently operating in Canada and the first casino resort opened in Ontario in 16 years.” He went on to offer thanks for “all the hard work invested by our team, our contractors and other important stakeholders who have helped us achieve this incredible milestone.”
One Delay After Another…
Anyone who’s lived in or around the Pickering area in southeast Ontario for any length of time is probably at least somewhat familiar with this situation. Years ago, following much debate and vacillation among residents, community officials and provincial leaders, Great Canadian Gaming was eventually granted approval to build a new casino resort in Pickering. It took much longer to build than originally planned. Once a grand opening was scheduled, that, too, was delayed.
A date for the grand opening was announced in early March of last year. It was to be a glorious celebration, with high profile guests, bubbling champagne, and lots of door prizes. Oh yes, April 8, 2020, was to be a magnificent occasion for the town of Pickering; a most memorable day for all who came out to attend the ribbon cutting ceremony and festivities to follow. But alas, it wasn’t to be.
As you’ll well remember, the first two weeks of March were the last two weeks of what we used to know as normalcy. By week three, the world had fallen into uncertainty and chaos, closing its doors, shuttering businesses, and “social distancing”.
Things are better today, but the crisis is far from over. The long-awaited grand opening of slots and live tables at Pickering Casino is another welcome sign that life may finally be returning to normal, if not slower than we’d hoped.
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