Industry Reports

Sarnia Officials Mull Over Slots Return to Hiawatha Horse Park after 6-Year Hiatus

Slot machines could soon return to operation at Hiawatha Horse Park and Entertainment Center following years of no gaming action on site. This is going to be considered during the next council meeting that is scheduled to take place on May 27. Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation and Gateway Casinos and Entertainment representatives would also be invited to the congregation that would decide OLG Slots’ future on site.

Sarnia officials have little time left to weight all options related to future slots operation on site of the racetrack. If it receives a green light, the leading casino operator is going to oversee operation on site and potentially transform the community both with its gaming offerings and with the gaming revenue allocations sent to the city coffers. The meeting is set to take place next Monday and bring change to the area.

Gateway Casinos Would Operate on Site

Both community members and local officials will receive the chance to have a say and have their questions answered by the representatives that would manage the location. Once this is considered, all pros and cons would be weighed before an ultimate decision is issued. The official meeting is going to see its start at 5 p.m.

Everyone interested in having a say at the public part of the congregation would have the chance to do so. All they have to do is register for participation by calling the clerks office at 519-332-0330. Deadline for registration is May 22 and everyone is invited to enter. For the past six years, no gaming operation has taken place at the OLG Slots venue, ever since the previous Liberal government decided to put an end to it.

Projections show that the future gaming operation over the first months since its relaunch would see the allocation of 5.25 percent of the gaming revenue generated on site. Once the generated revenue reaches CA$65 million this percentage would drop to 3.5 percent. Sarnia is on the verge of a new era that could boost the local community.

Slots at Racetracks Returns

It could be recalled that the current government supported the introduction of new gaming force to the location and reviving it down the road. Doug Ford is known for his support, as it has the potential to fund various project across the host community and ultimately draw more people to the area. Gateway Casinos received the opportunity to manage the venue.

With the help of an agreement in principle, the government announced that the casino operator would oversee operation on site once it opens for business. The end of Slots at Racetracks program saw the death of OLG Slots, but it is time for a modernization of the provincial field. In October 2018 OLG commenced public consultation.

However, following the period of preparation and approvals, the venue will have to undergo renovation accommodating future operation. As many as 150 machines will have to be placed on the casino floor. It is possible that more gaming offerings are revealed in the months ahead of the possible relaunch. Back in the days, some 450 devices were filling the venue with their signature sounds and chimes.