Gateway Casinos & Entertainment, one of the largest casino and entertainment companies in Canada, reacted to the anti-casino lobbyists. The gambling operator behind the proposed C$60 million gambling complex on the Kingsway finally responded to the flood of claims, presented by the casino opponents in an effort to prevent the construction of Gateway’s gambling complex. The casino operator presented its stance on the matter, pointing out that the company has conducted its own market research before laying out its casino plan.
On 3rd January, the anti-casino group No Casino Sudbury held a public town hall meeting at St. Andrew’s Place. The casino activists voiced their concerns related to the upcoming full-fledged entertainment complex. The casino naysayers were concerned that hosting a casino just next to the new community arena is not the right thing for Sudburians. The anti-casino movement took the opportunity to explain that the casino is to increase the gambling-related problems among low-income locals.
Tom Fortin, a Sudbury business owner and the leader of the anti-casino movement Casino Free Sudbury, explained that Gateway’s gambling complex is to cannibalize the profit of the local business as people will spend more money at the new complex instead of at the local businesses. The casino opponents added that Sudbury is not a major tourist destination and the presence of a gambling complex will not attract crowds of out-of-the-city tourists. Logically, Sudburians are expected to be the main customers of the new casino. Cathy Orlando from No Casino Sudbury explained that the violence rates in communities within 30 km of a casino is much higher.
Let’s Hear the Other Stance on the Matter
Gateway finally responded to the anti-casino movement’s claims that the gambling complex is to have a negative social and economic effect. Robert Mitchell, director of communications and public affairs with Gateway Casinos explained that the gambling operator has conducted its own market research before announcing its plans to build the multi-million gambling complex. Mr. Mitchell explained that the market research showed that the city has a good potential due to its strategic location.
Mr. Mitchell explained that the gambling entertainment is to draw the attention of much more out-of-the-city guests to the gambling complex than expected. He pointed out Gateway carefully chose the preferred location for the construction of the premier gambling complex, as it will be in close proximity to the highway and retail area.
Mr. Mitchell explained that Gateway’s staff is highly-qualified to adequately react to any situation. He took the opportunity to remind of the recent case, in which Gateway’s staff helped the fire staff to evacuate all the people at Sudbury Downs due to a house fire in the area that activated the fire alarm in the building. Speaking of the gambling-related problems that may arise from the casino, Mr. Mitchell explained that the casino workers are also trained to recognize signs of problem gambling and offer gamblers free support.