The building of the new casino in Greater Sudbury, Ontario, Canada by the gambling giant Gateway Casinos & Entertainment, which is planned to appear on the Kingsway by the spring of 2020 can potentially threaten many of the local charities. Currently, there are over 150 of them and the Charitable Gaming Association in Sudbury is alarmed about the future of the two bingo halls in the town and how the opening of a new casino will affect them.
Once the new casino opens in the site of the planned True North project it will inevitably attract hundred of customers, because, as we already informed our readers the complex will include a hotel, motor sports park, convention center and an event hall with the spectacular 6,000 seats.
The collaboration between Gateway and True North Strong will provide the public with new possibilities for entertainment and leisure time, but it can seriously affect the local charity field which annual bingo revenues amount to C$2.5 million. The concerns of charity coordinators and people acquainted with the specifics of the field are not groundless, however.
In the late 90s a similar situation occurred in the city, when the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation opened Sudbury Downs, the raceway for standard-bred horse racing. It was located in Northern Ontario and it led to the closing of five of the local bingo halls. The Charitable Gaming Association was forced to take these measures, because the halls suffered a substantial loss in their revenue and could not continue working.
Richard Schwar, the charity coordinator of the Charitable Gaming Association of Sudbury, has witnessed the outcome of this situation and the last thing he wants is to see history repeat itself once again. According to him, millions of Canadian dollars could be lost each year if the gaming center is in fact built on he Kingsway. Some of the establishments which could be affected by it are the Blue Door soup kitchen, the Sudbury Food Bank, many schools, churches, and legions.
Back in 2016 the Ontario Charitable Bingo and Gaming Revitalization was held in Sudbury, with more than C$20 million raised in the process. All of the existing charities benefited from this amount of money, which amounted to about a 5th of the C$100 million raised by the association across the province. At the event Lynn Cassidy, Executive Director of the Ontario Charitable Gaming Association said that Sudbury residents have a big impact on the charities, just by visiting the Boardwalk Gaming Center in Sudbury.
Now all this could change with the building of a single powerful casino. According to the information provided on the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation website Gateway donate C$115 million to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, which is then issued to charities on local and provincial level.