Canadian company Gateway Casinos and Entertainment announced on Wednesday it is investing CA$36 million in a brand new casino facility in Chatham. Cascades Casino Chatham, expected to open in mid-2019, will replace the existing Dresden slots facility and will create up to 200 jobs in the area.
At a presentation in Chatham, Ontario, on Wednesday, Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Ltd. CEO Tony Santo and Chatham-Kent Mayor Randy Hope unveiled plans for the new gambling venue which will be built at 615 Richmond St. at the northeast corner of Richmond and Keil Drive. The private operator will break ground for the 50,000 square foot building in the upcoming months with the grand opening scheduled for the summer of 2019. The details about the casino come after the official announcement for the project was made earlier this month.
The Cascades-branded casino will be the first newly constructed Gateway gambling venue in Ontario where the company has already taken over several facilities formerly operated by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG). As part of OLG’s huge modernization effort, Gateway was selected as the new service operator for a number of gambling venues across southwestern Ontario, including those in London, Point Edward, Dresden and Hanover. More facilities will be opened in North Bay, Kenora and the Collingwood area in the future, also said Santo.
While initially, it was unclear whether the new project in Chatham-Kent would replace the slots venue in Dresden, officials said on Wednesday that the old slots place will be closed in 2020. However, its employees will be a priority for Gateway when it starts hiring for the new Cascades casino. Moreover, up to 200 jobs will be created in the area, according to company representatives, especially considering that this will be much more than just a gaming facility.
The New Cascades Casino Chatham
Gateway’s new casino will be built on a currently vacant lot at the site of the former Wheel Inn Hotel at the corner of Richmond Street and Keil Drive. The 50,000-sq. ft. property beside the John D. Bradley Convention Centre will be an entertainment hub rather than just a casino with a food and beverage area separated from the gaming floor. The casino part will have 333 slot machines and 10 table games, which is nearly twice the gaming space as the Dresden venue.
The signature restaurant brands of Gateway, Match Eatery & Public House and the Buffet, will be added as dining options to the casino, as well as a sports bar. The nearly 100 employees from the Dresden slots venue will be offered positions and up to 100 more jobs will be provided in the gaming and restaurant areas of the facility. The company’s CEO Tony Santo also points out that the new, considerably larger casino will also mean higher revenues for the city coffers.
Currently, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation pays the municipality of Chatham-Kent a portion of the gambling revenues worth approximately $700,000 a year. With the Cascades Casino, this amount is expected to jump over a million dollars. If Gateway wants the casino to open by mid-2019, the company needs to start construction work this summer. But the casino still needs approval from the provincial government as well as rezoning approvals and other permits.