Gateway casinos will be making staff reductions at a number of casinos, including six layoffs at the casino in Dresden, according to Unifor.

The casino operator says it has been actively reviewing casino operations with a goal of maximizing efficiency, and providing the best customer experience possible.

As a result, it says it will reduce staff at several locations.

Gateway casinos said laid-off staff will be able to apply for future employment at newly constructed casinos in Chatham, London, Sudbury, North Bay and Kenora.

The majority of the proposed staff reductions are being made through a voluntary exit incentive program, staff reassignments and the remainder through layoff.

Gateway has introduced a number of new technologies including an automated gaming management system that lets customers redeem their rewards instantly.

"Gateway's decision to reduce the hours of operation at most of its Ontario casinos is a perfect example of why Unifor was against the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) modernization plan all along," said Jerry Dias, Unifor National President. "Unifor stated all along that the sale of a crown corporation and its operations will negatively affect workers and good jobs in Ontario, and Gateway is doing just that."

As the largest union in the gaming sector, Unifor expressed great concern about the privatization of gaming. After the OLG outsourced gaming operations and sold off assets the British Columbia-based Gateway Casinos and Entertainment enterprise purchased several facilities across Ontario.

According to Unifor, six people will be laid off at Gateway Casinos Dresden, which are represented by Local 444. The total layoffs amount to 19 positions at three different casinos. At all three casinos, Unifor is working with the company to minimize or eliminate the need for layoffs.