North Bay would soon have its very own casino venue, as Gateway Casinos and Entertainment issued its official decision on construction site. The CA$31.3-million project will rise in the vicinity of Highway 11, aligning with previous discussions on the subject. North Bay Mayor Al McDonald praised the decision amid growing controversy in the community.
Gateway Casinos is willing to explore every opportunity for expansion across Ontario, British Columbia, and Alberta, making it a goal. North Bay saw quite the controversy when it comes to the proposed casino venue, as locals were opposing the idea of a gambling venue in the area. Concerns to the likes of problem gambling surge in the region, as well as increased crime rates were voiced over the last months of 2018. Mid-January a second wave of controversy arose.
Casino Stirs the Pot in North Bay
A group of individuals called Save the Turtle, Stop the Casino claimed that the proposed location for casino construction is the natural habitat of the protected Blanding’s turtle and potential gambling venue is going to have a devastating impact on the local population. Gateway Casinos pointed out that it is going to collaborate with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry and come up with a mutually beneficial solution.
It is known that the Pinewood Park Drive area is part of the LaVase River and Cook Creek wetland complex and as such, it provides the conditions mandatory for the smiling turtle’s habitat. Following these concerns Gateway Casinos simply stated that it is willing to collaborate with officials, but did not reveal more about the casino project. Now the official location was announced and North Bay Mayor was quick to respond positively.
Mr. McDonald claimed that gambling operation in the area is going to be beneficial for the community, as it would improve the employment market in North Bay. Hundreds of individuals would find their new employer called Gateway Casinos once the job fairs commence. Casino workers go through extensive training and learning etiquette. In addition to that, the site would also need more than 200 individuals for the construction phase.
Municipal Approval is Anticipated
Local businesses would also be able to support the process since many services and firms based in North Bay would collaborate with Gateway Casinos for the construction of the building. Of course, there will also be financial support for the city coffers once operation starts. A percentage of the gaming revenue generated by the casino would be allocated to various projects across North Bay.
The maximum amount is five percent of the gaming revenue which would equate to CA$1 million or more, depending on the levels of interest expressed by casino patrons. Even after hearing all the projected benefits of a casino venue some locals remained against casino venue operation in North Bay and showed up at the City Council with banners condemning gambling operation in the area.
The following weeks are going to see the municipal approval mandatory for the casino project which would eventually bring it one step closer to the construction phase. The parcel of land is a 7.3-acre one, which could attract a constant flow of casino patrons and individuals, interested in the family-friendly offerings available on site. The gaming floor is going to feature some 300 slot devices, in addition to some 10 gaming tables ready to meet everyone’s preferences.