Wasaga Beach is looking for ways of spending its gambling revenue received for hosting Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s Playtime Casino Wasaga Beach. Recently, town officials shared they considered using the funds on creating a new community health centre and after-hours clinic. The new facility should be up and running as early as September 1, 2023.
Via the Municipal Contribution Agreement, the government of Ontario is required to allocate a portion of its casino profits to the localities that host its land-based gambling sites. The payment is determined using a standardized formula that is uniformly applied across all provincial gaming facilities and features a gradual scheme of gaming income for each location.
Gambling Revenue Benefiting the Local Communities
Mayor of Wasaga Beach Brian Smith shared that residents have voiced a desire and need for a locally-based medical and after-hours clinic, and it was high on the council’s agenda. He said the town needed physicians and nurse practitioners to help the families in the community without access to a family doctor or routine, preventative health care services.
He also said that council members wish for the gaming revenue to be put into projects that will enhance the health and well-being of people in the long run. The mayor believes the benefits of the project will expand beyond the town and support the health and well-being of friends and families in neighbouring communities, such as including Collingwood, Clearview and Springwater Townships
It should be mentioned that in April 2023, the town received its cheque from the OLG for hosting Playtime Casino Wasaga Beach. For Q4 of 2022-23, the town bagged approximately CA$286,000 in tax-gaming revenue. Meanwhile, in January 2023, the municipality received its first official allocation of CA$152,000 for the new casino.
The project for the medical centre and after-hours clinic will come with a fully equipped, turnkey, medical office. Additionally, a plan to operate the new medical facility is being developed with the Georgian Bay Family Health Organization. The town would provide administrative staffing and support to ensure its success.
With aid from Georgian Bay Family Health Organization, the community health centre and walk-in clinic could be operational in September this year. Once the plan is greenlit and is also expected to include certified diabetes educators, access to a certified respirator educator, and respiratory therapist, support programs for older adults living with frailty, and access to social workers and psychotherapists.
Providing Working Opportunities
Before the opening of Playtime Casino Wasaga Beach in November 2022, its operator, Gateway Casinos & Entertainment hosted a job fair to recruit some staff members. According to the company with the event, it recruited individuals for over 140 vacancies. The event took place in July 2022, at Wasaga Beach RecPlex at 1724 Mosley St.
Source: Browne, Cheryl “Casino proceeds to fund health centre in Wasaga Beach” CTV News Barrie, June 30, 2023