Gateway seeks approval to build new casino in Ontario Southwest.
Gateway Casinos & Entertainment is Canada’s largest gambling entertainment company. The group operates a total of 26 properties in Alberta, British Columbia, and Ontario. According to a press release on Thursday, they’re already eyeing up a new location, unveiling preliminary plans to build a new casino in Chatham-Kent.
Gateway’s plan is to build the new gambling destination on a vacant lot on Richmond Street; the previous location of a former entertainment complex, the Wheel Inn. Before ground can be broken on the project, Gateway must first get the nod from municipality leaders and the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG).
New Cascades Casino in Chatham-Kent, ON
The press release confirms that the new casino, pending approval, will open under Gateway’s popular Cascades brand. This would be the first Cascades Casino built in Ontario. There are currently three in BC, situated in Kamloops, Langley, and Penticton. Gateway is looking to extend the Cascades brand presence throughout Canada.
The announcement went on to state, “The proposed new casino will feature an exciting mix of amenities including slots and table games”.
No other specifics are available yet, but Gateway promises to divulge “the size and scope of the development including new employment opportunities, food and beverage offerings and the investment in the local economy” once all the necessary paper work is complete.
Gateway is hoping to start construction on the new property in the spring.
New Casino in Ontario Replacing Slots at Dresden Raceway?
The press release doesn’t go into full details about this aspect. It merely states that, during construction of the new property, “Gateway Casinos Dresden will continue to operate, business as usual”.
Gateway currently operates the OLG Slots at Dresden Raceway, a 30 minute drive north of Chatham-Kent. The company’s lease on that property will expire in 2020.
Local media caught up with Gateway’s PR rep, Rob Mitchell, who confirmed that the new gambling property in Ontario’s southwestern region will, in fact, replace the slots at Dresden. Mitchell says the Dresden casino will remain open until 2020, when the lease expires. Whether both operations might coexist for a time, however, is hard to predict.
“It all depends on construction and how smoothly that goes,” says Mitchell. “It’s planned to coincide that we would be opening at approximately the same time that our (Dresden) lease would expire.”
Dotting the I’s, Crossing the T’s
It would appear that Gateway has all its ducks in a row. Chatham-Kent Mayor Randy Hope is on board, as is Chief Administrative Officer Don Shropshire. Securing the vacant lot should be no problem, as its current owner, Brad-Lea Meadows, Ltd., is all too happy to sell to Gateway. Even the General Manager of their Dresden property, Damien DeRoux, is excited about the future of the new casino in Ontario.
(He’s probably already been promised the GM position at the new Cascades Casino in Chatham-Kent come 2020, so no worries for him.)
“Today’s announcement starts the clock on the countdown to an exciting new entertainment experience for the region,” says DeRoux. “We are tremendously excited about the great opportunities the proposed new casino presents with brand new amenities and new gaming options for our customers.”