OLG soon to announce New Canada Casinos Owner for North Ontario

New Canada Casinos coming to North OntarioFor three very long years, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has been reviewing applications from private operators to determine who will claim ownership of existing and new Canada casinos in the northern part of the province. Now, the regulator is happy to announce a decision will be revealed in just a “few weeks” time.

Progress in the Ontario gambling expansion plan has been painstakingly slow, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The OLG wants to make sure they’re picking the right private company for the job, and that takes a great deal of research into the proposals they’ve received, and the efficacy of the companies behind them.

“The announcement is coming within the next few weeks and we’re very excited,” said OLG’s media relations manager, Tony Bitoni.

Winner Gets 5 Old & New Canada Casinos

The winner in the bidding process will assume great responsibility, taking control of three existing gaming facilities in northern Ontario, as well as establishing two new Canada casinos in the areas of Kenora and North Bay.

The new operator will take control of the OLG Casinos in Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay, and assume ownership of the 7-year lease for OLG Slots at Sudbury Downs. The operator would be restricted from making any changes to the current workforce for a period of 12 months, temporarily safeguarding hundreds of jobs in those cities.

Potential Plans For North Bay Casinos

Most officials in North Bay are on board with the plan, and have identified two potential locations for the new casino, both located on Pinewood Park Drive.

One option is to build the new property at the site of the old Moe-Ze-On Inn, a strip club that was appropriated by the city years ago for failure to pay taxes. Alternatively, there’s a large wooded lot that could be purchased from a numbered company to construct the gaming facility.

According to Botoni, those designated locations are the product of communications between the leaders of North Bay and prospective winners of the new Canada casinos bid. The private companies have already begun scouting out potential sites for the upcoming operations, but all conversations on the matter will be kept confidential until the winner is announced.

North Bay Can Still Say “No Thanks”

The North Bay casino isn’t set in stone yet. According to City Councilor George Maroosis, there’s still notable opposition throughout the community. Once an operator is chosen, and their plans for North Bay revealed, he says North Bay still has the option to say, “No thanks.”

Maroosis himself isn’t certain a casino is what the area needs, and said he finds it “very hard not to agree with” some of the population’s anti-gambling expansion arguments. “Unfortunately in my view the casino business is in every corner store these days.”

He expressed his regret that so many Canadian provinces have become habitually dependent on revenue from gambling. But in the same token, he opined, “as far as I’m concerned, the cow is out of the barn and what’s the point of closing the door when he’s gone.”

The fact is, there’s plenty of other areas that would jump on the chance to qualify as the home of one of the new Canada casinos. The leaders of Callander, for instance, asked for their community to be named as an alternative destination, should North Bay back out. OLG, however, called it an impossibility.

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