Two members of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce abruptly resigned their posts from the chamber board of directors to demonstrate their anti-casino stance. Information for the resignation of Former chairs Andre Dumais and Vicki Jacobs came this week. They stepped down from their offices to show that they are against the Gateway Casinos’ expansion project. According to it, Gateway Casinos is to replace the 18-year-old slots at Sudbury Downs with a $60 million gambling complex on the Kingsway. Following their departure, the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce expressed its disappointment with the two resignations, but it added that no more members are expected to bow out.
Gateway Casinos’ opposition looms large in Sudbury as 2 highly-esteemed members of the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce handed in their notices on Thursday. It was explained that the reason for their departure is to express their opposing stance on the casino expansion plan, which received a go-ahead by most of the members of the chamber.
As it can be recalled, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) shared its plans to modernize Canada’s gambling sector and deploy its full potential by building gambling venues in the most profitable markets across the Greater Toronto Area (GTA). Chair Michael Macnamara explained that once the chamber was aware of OLG’s plans, it organized a task force, which aimed at exploring the possible influence of a casino on the city.
According to the study, the presence of a casino facility would have a positive effect on the city’s economy in case it is accompanied by another major development such as events center or arena. Hence, the chamber thumbed up the construction of a casino facility. Mr. Macnamara explained that every member of the chamber has a different opinion on the matter and is free to express it, but the important thing is to present unanimous stance on the matter in front of the people.
Last year, Sudbury City Council approved the construction of a $80 million arena/ events center in the Moonlight Beach area. The plot of land, where the arena/ events center in question was planned to be located is owned by businessman Dario Zulich and his partners. Gateway Casinos immediately expressed its interest to build a casino on the property along with a hotel complex.
Gateway Casinos’ Expansion Project Faces Opposition from Anti-Casino Group
However, the casino project met a serious discontent by business owners. One group called Casino Free Sudbury has taken action with the main purpose to convince the city and the province to abandon the casino expansion idea. The group is led by the tech entrepreneur Tom Fortin, who runs a manufacturing firm in the area. He explained that the members of the group have many claims in their bags on the demerits of establishing a casino property in Sudbury, pointing out socials and economic problems. At present, the group is trying to build up enough support from the locals, so the city council cannot ignore them.