The revenue Canadian provinces generate from casino gambling is immense, and makes up a significant portion of the nation’s annual budget. In the 2013-14 fiscal year, Canada’s casino raked in over $10 billion.
The gambling industry in Ontario plays an integral role in that data, and is looking to increase its contributions by authorizing additional table games and slot machines at Kawartha Downs, as well as a new casino proposed for the southeastern city of Peterborough.
Last year, the provincially run Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) gave British Columbia-based Great Canadian Gaming (GCG) the green light to operate as a private gaming business as per the region’s Eastern Ontario Gaming Bundle. GCG then formed the Ontario Gaming East Limited Partnership, assuming control of Shorelines Casino Thousand Islands in Gananoque and Slots at Kawartha Downs in Fraserville.
The government’s ultimate goal is to increase its casino revenue, and it’s put the weight of that goal upon the shoulders of GCG. The company has been given two options to meet that end. They can install table games and additional slot machines at the casino in Fraserville, or they can build a whole new casino in the nearby city of Peterborough. In a perfect world, they might actually be able to do both.
Peterboroguh to Discuss New Casino at Public Meeting May 9
This certainly isn’t a new issue for the community, but it is one that might finally be coming to a conclusion in the near future. In 2013, Peterborough City Council confirmed that it would be a willing host city for a new casino, despite the fact that Slots at Kawartha Downs is located only about 20km southwest of Peterborough city centre.
On Monday, May 9, City Council will hold a special meeting where the topic of the new casino will be the only item on the agenda. Public interest in the debate has been so significant that the meeting will not be held at City Hall during normal business hours. Instead, the meeting will take place at 6:00pm at the Adam Scott Collegiate auditorium, located at 175 Langton St.
According to last week’s report in the Peterborough Examiner, GCG has selected a track of real estate at the intersection of The Parkway and Crawford Drive for the location of the new casino. One matter surely to arise at the meeting is the fact that GCG’s chosen location would place the new gambling establishment less than 10km from the existing Slots at Kawartha Downs, each virtually flanking opposite sides of the Peterborough Municipal Airport.
Earlier this week, GCG released a timeline for construction that would see the casino open in 2017. The facility would include restaurant and entertainment venues, and would provide employment opportunities for 150 people; the same amount already employed at the Fraserville property.
In order for the new casino to receive a approval, the GCG is seeking a site-specific amendment to current zoning and parking policies to permit the erection of the proposed casino, according to the official plan announced on Tuesday.
Next month’s meeting is opening to all members of the public for comment and/or written submissions, and will surely attract members of a group known as No Casino Peterborough. The coalition, which is vehement in its protest of expanding gambling in the community, was formed shortly after City Council showed interest in hosting Ontario’s newest casino.