Western Fair casino reopens, two weeks after ransomware attack

·2 min read

London's Gateway Casino is open again to the public after a ransomware attack forced its sudden shutdown two weeks ago.

The casino at the Western Fair District opened its doors at noon Monday, one day after Gateway Casinos and Entertainment reopened its operation in Innisfil, near Barrie.

"We're excited to be back in business and have employees back at work," Rob Mitchell, Gateway's communications and public affairs director, said Monday. "There is no indication that personal information was compromised, either guests, employees or vendors."

Gateway, which operates 14 casinos in Ontario, continues to reopen the shuttered locations in stages. Each site must be inspected and approved by its regulators, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., before receiving the green light.

Mitchell said Gateway expects to reopen its other Southwestern Ontario casinos in Clinton, Chatham, Hanover, Point Edward, Sarnia and Woodstock this week. Updates will be posted to their website and social media.

Gateway first reported the ransomware attack on its IT systems on April 16. After learning of the breach, officials closed its operations and hired third-party cyber professionals to restore its IT systems.

Mitchell said the incident was believed to have been resolved as of Monday.

A ransomware attack occurs when a hacker locks a computer system until a sum of money is paid to them. A recent attack hit the municipality of St. Marys, which paid a $290,000 ransom in Bitcoin.

In London, dozens of casino-goers waited outside the Western Fair as early as 10 a.m. Monday in anticipation of the casino's reopening, Mitchell said.

"The word got out because we told our employees," he said, adding it was a similar scene in Innisfil on Sunday.



Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press