Gateway Casinos recently stirred the pot in London with its announcement it is no longer interested in pursuing a casino construction in the Western Fair District, but instead, it is going to lease a parcel of land on Wonderland Road. Despite the incessant conversation on the subject, the permanent business owners of Old East Village claim that this is not going to have a negative impact on the local businesses and the general interest towards this area.
Over the past more than a year the casino developer and operator has been knee-deep in conversations and negotiations for constructing a casino complex with an adjacent hotel tower at the Western Fair District. However, the entire process of negotiations between London City Hall and Gateway Casinos, which is going to oversee the project, came to a halt due to disagreement regarding the future operation.
Shops and Restaurants in the Western Fair Vicinity Do Not Lament Casino Relocation
For the management of the Western Fair district this might be bad news potentially threatening the future of harness racing in the region, but according to locals, this change of plans might not have any negative impact. Individuals overseeing businesses in the area where the casino venue project was supposed to rise remained unmoved by the announcement coming from Gateway Casinos.
Usually, when a casino venue is in operation at a given location, surrounding businesses are able to benefit from this. When it is a new facility launching operation this means a tourists flow surge is projected to take place, which was the expectation for the Gateway Casinos project as well. However, business owners in the vicinity of the Western Fair District are on the contrary position, as it turns out.
According to Jason Gilliland, Director of the Urban Development program at Western University claimed that the current gaming situation in the region is not of a booming gaming field. Furthermore, according to him, downtown businesses currently in operation were unlikely to see a significant surge in their revenue thanks to the casino venue launch.
Casino Venue Relocation Might Harm Horse Racing Field
Predictions about the potential of a casino venue have been circulating ever since the project was first announced. Now that it is known that the location will be different in the southern part of the city, local restaurants and retailers appear to be unfazed by this development. Councillor Phil Squire stated that the CA$140-million project would not have the significant impact previously projected by supporters of the venue.
Owners of bakeries and other food shops in the region around the Western Fair District, stating that their customers are attracted by the racing operation on site, share the opinion. Their customers travel from across the city. In the meantime, Western Fair President Hugh Mitchell recently expressed his deepest concerns about the change of location, as this has the potential to harm the existing harness racing field in London.
The casino venue operation was supposed to bring additional funding to Standardbred racing in the area, but Gateway Casinos ended up disagreeing with the established government standard for funding the horse racetrack. Now the management seeks support from the government, in order to maintain the integrity of the horse racing field, an established trademark of London.