New Ontario Casino to Open January 11… Maybe

For the last year, the Canadian city of Belleville, Ontario has eagerly anticipated the grand opening of Shorelines Casino. While the Mayor was all too happy to hint that the property would hold its “soft opening” as soon as January 11, 2017, owners of the new Ontario casino are more hesitant to give an exact date.

Shorelines Casino maybe opening Jan 11 2017

Each year, the city of Belleville is privy to a traditional New Years Day Levee. When Mayor Taso Christopher took to the podium on Sunday, he relayed great expectations for the city’s new gambling destination – one that will guarantee a sizable cheque to Belleville’s coffers every few months.

The Mayor indicated that Shorelines Casino will open in about 10 days, which would designate January 11 as the big day. However, he noted that not everyone would be invited to attend the initial opening.

“My understanding is they’re going to have a soft opening for staff and senior management,” he told the press. He suggested that the official grand opening to the public would be held later that week.

Mayor Christopher went on to laud his expectations for the new Ontario casino, calling it a boon for the entire community. “It’s good for employment and the economic component” he said enthusiastically, noting that it “will be interesting to get our first cheque.”

As host municipality, Belleville will be entitled to a small portion of the Shorelines Casino’s revenue. The first cheque will come at the end of April, and the city has already initialized a separate account to intercept and disperse those funds for important community projects, like improving the city’s infrastructure.

Will Shorelines Casino Really Open Jan 11?

According to the Intelligencer, a source within the new Ontario casino’s staff confirmed that a notification had been distributed by upper management stating January 11, 2017 was indeed the big day for a projected launch. Staff was advised to be available for work.

Attempts to have that date confirmed by Great Canadian Gaming Corp‘s (GCC) Ontario East division have come up empty. Owners are more reluctant to give any exact, or even projected, launch date.

Andy LaCroix, Executive Director for Ontario East, explained that the company has, “put some marks in the sand.” He was pleased with “the mayor for being optimistic about things,” but at the same time, insisted “there is still no hard date yet.”

LaCroix went on to identify a number of obstacles that have yet to be hurdled, such as clearances and approvals for behind-the-scenes operations. All t‘s must be crossed and i‘s dotted before the Shorelines Casino can open to the public.

“We’ve got a lot of controls that have to be setup. We have to check all those boxes. That’s some of the hesitation of getting a hard date,” LaCroix said.

Certainly, 10 days could be more than enough to check off those boxes, if everything is in order; especially if it’s all related to paper work. But should one single process be delayed, announcing and subsequently revoking a date for the grand opening would be more embarrassing than holding their cards close to the chest. Thus GCC’s reluctance is understandable.

Features of New Ontario Casino

Shorelines Casino will host 450 slot machines and 18 table games, with a general playing area and VIP section for high rollers. The 48,000 square-foot facility will also host a lounge with a stage for small acts, outdoor patio, and a buffet-style restaurant with all glass walls.

The most unique feature will be the new casino’s Responsible Gambling Centre. The interactive setting will be the first of its kind in the province. Instead of offering stacks of fliers and pamphlets with information about problem gambling, patrons will be privy to interactive displays via private pods and television screens.

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