The year 2020 would be a special one for Sarnia horse racing and gaming enthusiasts as Hiawatha Horse Park and Entertainment Center recently announced the return of slot gaming within its premises. January is about to see the installation of 150 slot devices ready to make players’ dreams come true and diversify the entertainment potential of the racetrack. Renovation work is currently in progress at Gateway Casinos Sarnia.
Gateway Casinos & Entertainment would be the casino operator overseeing gaming activities at the renewed slots venue at Hiawatha Horse Park and Entertainment Center. The gaming location adjacent to the racetrack is going to go by the name of Gateway Casinos Sarnia, as this is the established branding for Gateway Casinos’ slot venues at racetracks.
Revived Slots Operation
The official launch date for this new location would be January 31 and local players are already excited for the revival of a gaming opportunity. It could be recalled that up until 2012, Hiawatha Horse Park used to boast some 450 slot machines part of the Slots at Racetracks Programs powered by Ontario’s government. Ontario had its Slots at Racetracks Program, which launched operation in the late 1990s, as a response to growing discontent with casino proposals.
Communities across the province were opposing well-rounded casino venues construction, eventually pushing gaming to the local racetracks. Six years ago, the government put an end to this program and the missing allocations had their reverberation across the Sarnia area. Now it is time for a new chapter and regular gaming revenue allocations for the community, which would be later on reinvested in it.
May 2019 saw the approval of slot gaming at Hiawatha Horse Park welcoming it pack after a six-year hiatus. Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley expressed his content with the way things are developing and he pointed out that this additional support is going to boost operation and be mutually beneficial. Down the road, the number of slot machines could increase, depending on the demand shown.
150 Machines Return at Hiawatha Horse Park
Slot devices would not be the sole thing making this new venue special. It is a new age for gaming that has upgraded gaming halls from slot machines placed in a dark room. Gateway Casinos Sarnia would feature its signature Express bar serving cocktails and beverages to all players.
For the time being the price tag of this project has not been revealed, but it should be taken into account that the building permit amounts to some CA$2.9 million. About 60 workers would be needed for the new slots facility, meaning that locals would have a chance to apply for a job there after the Christmas holidays. The local employment market is expected to see a boost.
Back in 2011, gaming revenue allocations powered by Gateway Casinos Sarnia managed to reach CA$1.5 million for 450 slot machines in operation. For 12 years of OLG Slots operation, the community saw some CA$30 million in allocations. Projections this time might be lower, but nevertheless, gambling would attract more individuals to the horse racing location making it even more popular.