Casino News

London Community Had No Say on Casino as Councilors Fear Delays

London, Ontario has officially made a decision about its new casino complex and its location in particular – a crucial detail that could make or break its future.

Amid the controversy surrounding the two considered areas of construction, City Hall members voted and expressed their support of a new CA$75-million casino complex built on Wonderland Road, north of Wharncliffe Road. Gateway Casinos & Entertainment was content to see its plans receive a green light.

Starlight Casino London has been a topic of wide discussion over the past few years, as the project was always surrounded with complications and extended conversation. The past couple of weeks also stirred the pot with the ongoing efforts of some council members to bring back the original proposed location to the table. However, the long-anticipated vote on the subject took place this week and highlighted prevalent support for an independent casino venue in the southwest area of London.

Starlight Casino London Receives 9-4 Rezoning Approval

City Council held a crucial vote that ended up showing 9-4 support of a casino complex built on Wonderland Road. The casino operator proposed the site for construction towards the end of 2018 and ever since then the conversation has been revolving around it.

In order to make the project possible and move forward with it, local officials had to give their approval to the rezoning process. Both the casino operator and supporters of the project that envision bright gaming future and tons of benefits have awaited this mandatory step for the local community.

The CA$75-million project is expected to create job opportunities for locals and people hailing from neighboring communities, whereas the gaming revenue allocations are going to be reinvested in London. The vote included solely city hall members, a detail concerning some of them.

Many people have previously pointed that Starlight Casino London should be subjected to a public consultation that would give people the chance to share their thoughts and comment on anything that might not fit their own idea of a casino complex in London.

City Would Bag CA$7M a Year

However, as it turned out, such a step would have added several more weeks to the already extended casino topic. Councilor Maureen Cassidy was among the supporters of the idea that locals should also have a say on the subject, as this affects them directly. In addition to London residents, the casino venue is also projected to have an impact on neighboring First Nations communities.

For the time being, not more than 11 notices have been filed in relation to Starlight Casino London, far from the actual number of local businesses that would be affected by the casino complex. Mayor Ed Holder stated that the proposed amendment allowing for public consultation would result in an even bigger delay. At the end of the day, this jeopardizes the project’s future and everything it spells for London’s future.

Western Fair District was eyed as the area of casino expansion, as there is gaming operation happening at the moment. Staff members are going to be relocated to the independent casino building once its construction is finished and it is time for the official opening ceremony. Gateway Casinos is expected to announce the launch date in the upcoming weeks.