The city of City Ste. Marie in Ontario is one of the areas of great significance when it comes to the gambling field in the region, as both commercial and tribal casino developers are utilizing the potential of the region. Now it has been confirmed that the leading casino developer Gateway Casinos has decided this might not be the right time for further investment in the region and upgrading the existing temporary casino venue, but what could this mean when it comes to the local gaming scene?
The region has been home of the OLG Sault Ste. Marie Casino ever since 1999, marking a nearly 20-year history of diverse gaming offerings and riveting action for enthusiasts. At first, the venue launched operation bearing the OLG brand and it had been proudly representing the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation for most of its operation. This was until the spring of 2017 brought some changes in the local gambling landscape and the mutually-beneficial deal between Gateway Casinos and OLG.
Timeline of Casino Operation
It was arranged in a way that provided the leading casino developer and operator with the rights to oversee operation on site of the gaming venue in Sault Ste. Marie on the St. Marys River. The said gambling location came along with a bunch of other casino venues sprinkled across the Northern Ontario region, including two other locations in Sudbury and Thunder Bay.
The said arrangement covers the following 20 years of operation in the region and it reached the colossal sum of CA$79,349,000. Now it has been confirmed via a recently issued report coming straight from the casino developer and operator, that the company is not planning on pouring a lot in the temporary casino venue in the upcoming years. The temporary facility which has been in operation for the past almost 20 years will remain at its current interim stated and not see any upgrades to its status.
All gaming offerings are situated in a special dome which could be easily relocated if the need arises. However, it should be taken into account that the said interim venue has undergone quite a lot over the years and numerous repairs have been needed. Since it is not supposed to be used for such an extensive period of time, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has been taking care of it with repairs. It turns out that Gateway Casinos will continue this tradition relying on the temporary facility solely.
Potential Impact on the Local Field
The casino venue spans over some 61,800 square feet of operational space, providing enough space for all gambling offerings on site. The casino venue itself has a total of 425 slot machines in operation, as well as 11 table games available for anyone of legal age interested in playing. In addition to the entertainment offerings on site, there is also a more family-friendly option such as the Getaway restaurant open seven days a week.
What makes it a successful location is the lower legal age of 19, in comparison to Michigan’s 21, making it a preferred gambling venue for American citizens. However, the location does not feature any accommodation options for the players traveling from near and far and this makes it hard for the casino venue to keep up with neighboring casino venues, as well as those situated in the US across the river in Michigan.
Meanwhile, Kewadin Casino, Hotel and Convention Center operated by the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians is a competitive casino complex able to provide casino patrons with comfortable premium rooms. It features a hotel tower with some 320 rooms available for booking in addition to a casino venue. In this sense, a lack of expansion from Gateway Casinos would mean that the local gaming field will continue lacking a strong presence when it comes to the interim casino venue.