Wasaga Beach is one of the locations that would soon welcome casino operation overseen by Gateway Casinos & Entertainment and over the past few months preparation and conversation on the subject have been in progress. This Tuesday saw the most recent City Council meeting that strived to work on some of the crucial elements to the arrangement. Council members attended the regular congregation to cast their votes on offering incentives to the casino operator for operation in the beachfront area of Wasaga.
March 2018 was special for the casino operator, as Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation granted it the responsibility to oversee operation of the Central Gaming Bundle. This move aligned with the modernization goals of the lottery corporation. The deal cost about CA$89.3 million, as it was revealed towards the end of the year with a special arrangement disclosure. The said batch of location includes the venue previously known as OLG Slots located at Georgian Downs, Casino Rama Resort, as well as the permit for future gambling operation in Wasaga Beach.
Wasaga Beach Casino Presentation Expected Soon
Now that renovation work is in progress at two of the three locations, Wasaga Beach is also preparing for active discussion with the casino operator, seeking mutually beneficial negotiation process. The regular meetings of Wasaga Beach Councilors attempt to do so, as the location of the future casino venue remains unknown. This Tuesday once again drew the attention to the previously discussed incentives offering to Gateway Casinos for constructing at a specific location in the beachfront area.
The said incentives were part of a previously discussed Memorandum of Understanding reviewed by Gateway Casinos. If the city votes in support of these incentives, this would result in an expense ranging from CA$26 million to CA$38 million. Gloria Shaw representing the Wasaga Beach Business Association had previously stated that there is speculation that the City Council is in the know about an already chosen casino location. She pointed out that the community deserves to have the last say in this situation, as it directly affects it.
Members of the community also expressed their position that a potential casino venue at the roundabout at Highway 26 would not bring benefits to the businesses in Wasaga Beach. The casino operator is aware of the concerns and stated that it will work in close collaboration with the City Council. One of the upcoming weeks will see a special presentation revealing more about the casino venue.
Gateway Casinos Has Yet to Reveal Chosen Location
In previous meetings, it became clear that the Committee of the Whole advises the City Council to refrain from offering the said incentives for building a casino venue at Beach Area 1. The incentives themselves equate to the purchase of seven properties in the area that would form the casino footprint; the building of a spacious parking structure able to welcome up to 300 vehicles at the beachfront area; as well as the construction of as many as 100 underground parking spots.
The voting back then saw Councilor Joe Belanger maintain his support while the rest of the councilors and Mayor Nina Bifolchi expressed their opposition to the incentives. Coun. Belanger stated that for him the most appropriate location for development would be the former Wasaga Waterworld site on River Road West located in the east end of Wasaga Beach.
The project itself is projected to guarantee as many as 400 individuals would receive permanent employment, a factor that is essential for local officials. Casino offerings would be sprinkled across the 39,000-square-foot facility, featuring 300 slots, table games, as well as the signature dining offerings Match Eatery & Public House and The Buffet.