A recent ransomware cybersecurity attack that resulted in the Gateway Casino and Entertainment’s closure has been a serious hurdle for the business in its domestic, with a gambling industry official explaining that the company is still dealing with the negative effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Paul Burns, CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA) that currently represents the country’s legal gambling industry explained that Gateway Casino and Entertainment, which operates a Western Fair District-situated casino, has welcomed a steady return of players so far in 2023, as it has suffered the negative effects of lengthy lockdowns linked to the emergency phase of the coronavirus pandemic. Unfortunately, the business is once again inoperable amid what officials described as “a ransomware attack” on its IT systems. Now, Mr. Burns has confirmed that the business had managed to bounce back from Covid-19 but the incident has brought it back to its knees, as it happened at the worst possible timing.
Local casinos have welcomed their first full year of play without interruptions since 2019, as they became subject to closures as a result of the coronavirus pandemic that hit the country in March 2020.
Regardless of the ongoing troubles faced by the business, the boss of the Canadian Gaming Association remained confident that patrons will return after the temporary setbacks.
No Customer and Employee Personal Details Accessed during the Ransomware Cybersecurity Attack, Gateway Says
As mentioned above, Mr. Burns shared his positive feeling about the performance of local casinos, saying that the industry is expected to become more stable after facing difficulties during the Covid-19 pandemic and customers would come back again after the ransomware cybersecurity attack.
According to data provided by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., the gambling industry in the province of Ontario was recovering. In its financial report for the 2021/2022 fiscal year, the organization reported a 335% increase in the local gambling sector’s profits, from CA$359 million in the fiscal 2020/2021 to CA$1.6 billion just a year later. It has so far projected that the province’s gambling industry profits in 2022 and 2023 would increase to CA$2.3 billion.
Official representatives of Gateway Casino and Entertainment had revealed that its casinos were set to remain inoperable over the weekend, as the company is trying to resolve a recent cybersecurity incident that forced it to shut its operations down a week ago. The company issued a statement saying that, for the time being, it was unable to confirm a re-opening date but it continued to work in collaboration with all competent parties in an effort to bring its IT systems back to normal, get its employees back to work, and reopen its sites.
It is still unknown what exactly happened at the time when Gateway’s business was forced to cease operation on April 16th, but the company’s officials have described the issue as a “ransomware attack” on the company’s IT systems. A cybersecurity ransomware attack occurs when a hacker or a group of hackers lock up a computer system until its owner pays a sum of money to them.
As Gateway Casino and Entertainment representatives shared, there is no evidence that any customers’ or employees’ personal information has been accessed by the individuals responsible for the cybersecurity attack. The company is currently working with a third-party expert to help it recover from the consequences of the attack.
For the time being, 14 casinos of the company in the province of Ontario remain closed.