Anti-casino activists are protesting the development of Gateway’s full-scale gambling complex on the Kingsway. Last year, Canada’s leading gambling operator Gateway Casinos and Entertainment won a bid to take over the slots at Sudbury Downs and other gambling venues. A few months later, the gambling operator introduced its plans to replace the 18-year-old slots with a premier gambling complex. The $60 million planned investment was accepted with mixed feelings by the locals and the city officials.
Proponents of Gateway’s casino proposal emphasized on the great number of economic benefits of hosting a casino. Casino developments have created important contributions to the tourism industries. The gambling industry has turned into a highly profitable sector of the economy in Canada and the taxation of the casino industry has become a significant source of economic funds.
The $60 million planned investment is estimated to significantly decrease the unemployment rate in the region, creating 250 new jobs. In addition to that, Gateway’s casino in Sudbury is to be the only gambling complex that is to offer everything under one roof. This means that the new entertainment property is to be the jewel in the crown of the city.
Opponents to Present Their Anti-Casino Arguments
Conversely, hosting a casino may have also a number of negative socio-cultural and environmental impacts. That gave rise to the anti-casino group No Casino Sudbury, which claims that Gateway’s casino is to be a social burden. The anti-casino group is convinced that the locals will be the main customers of the new casino. This means that people, who are attending the entertainment complex are to spend their money there. Hence, Sudburians will have less money to spend at local businesses. In other words, the anti-casino group is worried that Gateway’s entertainment complex is to hurt the local economy, instead of helping it.
This Wednesday, the group is to launch its latest weapon to counter the construction of the gambling complex, planned to be located near the city’s new arena and event center. The anti-casino group is to provide detailed information regarding all the negative aspects of hosting a casino. Duncanson-Hales voiced concerns regarding the social ills that can ensue from casino gambling.
In an e-mail to the media agency CBC News, Tony Bitonti, the senior manager of media relations for OLG explained that Sudbury faced a fierce competition to win the rights to host a full-fledged entertainment complex. City councilor Robert Kirwan explained that Gateway has the right to open an entertainment complex in Sudbury under the 20-year-long agreement with Ontario Lottery Corp. He added that it would be a mistake to scrap Gateway’s casino plan as it is to pump millions in the city’s economy.