Yesterday, the media agency CBC News reported that a group called Casino Free Sudbury frowned to Gateway Casinos’ expansion proposal to remove the old-dated slots at Sudbury Downs (firstly introduced in 1999) and establish a multi-million gambling complex on the Kingsway. The group is currently mustering support from almost 200 business units in Sudbury, hoping to persuade the city council and the province to bid farewell to the casino expansion proposal. They believe that the presence of a casino complex is to intensify social issues among locals, which is to reflect the economy in a negative way.
The odds of Sudbury to welcome a new $60 million gambling complex seems to be lower after a casino expansion lobbying group gained a strong support by nearly 200 other business units. One of the most fervent opponents of the casino expansion is Sudbury tech entrepreneur Tom Fortin, who operates one of the biggest manufacturing firms in the area. Speaking of Gateway Casinos’ expansion plan, he stated that a gambling complex will not benefit the local economy, but even the opposite. He added that this is to deepen the social problems and economic problems as these are intertwined. According to Mr. Fortin, the main reasons for the costs increase of hiring people in casino towns are social issues.
Mr. Fortin provided some details regarding the other business units, which joined the anti-casino group. He said that there are members from the small- and medium-sized businesses sector as well as giant business units. Mr. Fortin shared that the group aims at urging the city council and the province to not allow the construction of Gateway Casinos’ gambling complex. He elaborated that it might be a hard task to convince the local officials to step aside of the casino project as they will lose money in tax revenues, but he pointed out that the authorities should be more concerned about the locals.
Proponents of the Casino Expansion
But every coin has 2 sides and the casino expansion is not an exception to the rule. Greater Sudbury city council expressed its support to the casino project more than once. Reached for a comment, Robert Mitchell, director of communications and public affairs for Gateway Casinos explained that the in case the operator receives an approving nod from the authorities for the construction of the multi-million gambling complex, it will become one of the most noteworthy attractions in northern Ontario. He added that the idea is to fully-integrate the complex, which will offer also non-gambling activities, including restaurants, bars, and entertainments.
Apart from that, it is not a secret that a new entertainment complex will create new job opportunities, both permanent and temporary, and decrease the unemployment rate. It was announced that Gateway Casinos is to create 250 permanent job places. Apart from that, the entertainment complex is to pay taxes to the state, which is to bridge some gaps in the budget.