October 10, 2023 3 min read


Pickering Casino Security Guard Fatally Shot during Thanksgiving Festivities

There are no additional reports of injuries to other individuals during the tragic event

A senseless act of violence marred the Thanksgiving celebrations in Pickering as a security guard was fatally shot early on October 9 at the Pickering Casino Resort. The victim, identified as 34-year-old Michael Ferdinand, was on duty when multiple gunshots were fired inside the casino premises around 5:05 a.m., according to Durham Regional Police.

Swift Police Response to Fatal Shooting at Pickering Casino

Upon receiving the distress call, law enforcement swiftly responded, rushing Ferdinand to a nearby trauma center. Ferdinand had been shot with numerous bullets while he was on duty. Despite the medical team’s efforts, Ferdinand succumbed to his injuries, leaving a community in shock and mourning the loss of a dedicated professional. No other people seem to be reported as injured during the fatal incident.

Durham Regional Police Sgt. Joanne Bortoluss addressed the media, stating that the assailants, described as both men and women, quickly fled the scene after the shooting. The motives behind the attack remain unknown, with investigators diligently piecing together the events leading up to the tragic incident.

Bortoluss emphasized that it was clearly evident that someone had been armed upon entering the casino. She mentioned that they were diligently collaborating with the casino, witnesses, and their homicide unit to understand the sequence of events and to apprehend those accountable, underscoring their continuous endeavor to ensure justice is served.

Pickering Casino and Hotel Shut Down Amidst Investigation

The casino and hotel, located near Church Street and Highway 401, have been temporarily closed as law enforcement conducts a comprehensive investigation. Although specific details about the closure period remain undisclosed, the authorities are urging people to avoid the area while the investigation is ongoing.

The Pickering Casino Resort, operated by the Great Canadian Gaming Corporation, is a prominent entertainment complex boasting a wide array of amenities, including 2,200 slot machines, 90 table games, live dealer stadium gaming positions, a sportsbook, and seven restaurants. The incident has left the community questioning the safety of such venues and has prompted discussions about enhancing security measures.

In other news, a cheating scheme at Pickering Casino Resort recently led to the arrest of four individuals. The Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) received a tip about the scheme involving a table games dealer and visitors at the casino. The OPP, along with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO), investigated the matter, resulting in charges against the accused. 

One person, identified as S.S., faces multiple charges including cheating at play, criminal breach of trust, and fraud over CAD5,000 ($3,682). Three others, including a 28-year-old from Mississauga and two individuals from Brampton, were charged with fraud over CAD5,000($3,682) and possession of property obtained illegally, along with four counts of cheating while playing.


Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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