It has been over nine years since the City of Niagara Falls negotiated a new agreement with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. In that time, the city has bagged over CA$186.5 million for hosting the Crown corporation’s casino properties, for which the city has found great use and it has been reinvested into the local coffers.
The contract which requires the OLG to share a percentage of its casino revenue with communities in Ontario is named the Municipality Contribution Agreement. Payments to communities are calculated on a formula which is consistently applied across all provincial gaming amenities and utilizes a graduate scale of gaming revenue for each location.
Over CA$185M in Nine Years
Currently, Niagara Falls hosts OLG’s Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara Resort on its territory, and for the last nine years, the premium amenities have brought CA$ 186.5 million to the city. In that time, the city has used CA$177.6 million of it to fund five council-approved areas and almost half of it, CA$83.9 million has gone to debt avoidance or capital investment.
More than CA$400k has been used to fund the Niagara Falls Lions Legacy Pathway section of Millennium Recreational Trail. Meanwhile, a CA$221,155 of the gaming money was channelled into replacing a street sweeper and CA$80,000 towards boat-ramp improvements in Chippawa. The money is also used for property tax relief, policing around the casino district, economic development initiatives, and healthcare.
According to city officials, as of September 30, 2022, there was an uncommitted balance of CA$8.9 million, which is available to be used in the 2023 capital budget. Approximately CA$6 million of it is proposed to be committed through the local budget, which was a topic of discussion during this Tuesday’s city council meeting.
Officials discussed how there seems to be confusion among the people about where the casino revenue is being invested into. That is why the council released a report which provides an annual summary of the OLG casino money to date. The first kind of this report was issued in 2019, however, no annual one was compiled for 2021, as casinos were shut down from March 17, 2020, to July 31, 2021
Retail Sports Betting Commences
Just last week, Fallsview Casino Resort and Casino Niagara Resort presented some exciting news for its many patrons. Fallsview Casino Resort has now launched legal retail sports betting at its premises. Currently, the gaming amenity offers 21 betting kiosks, and on Wednesday, November 23, 2022, the casino is set to add 15 more to its offerings.
Meanwhile, the other gambling hotspot, Casino Niagara Resort will kick off sports wagering also on Wednesday, November 23, 2022. In order to bring retail sports betting to the casinos, its operators, Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment partnered up with Kambi Group, which supplied it with its first-at-class on-property sports betting platform
Source: Spiteri, Ray “Niagara Falls has received $186.5M for hosting two casinos since 2013” Niagara Falls Review, November 21, 2022