Article published on 15 May 2014

Sudbury Council Puts Casino Decision on Hold

Decision Regarding Sudbury Downs Delayed
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The Sudbury city council had a meeting on Tuesday night in which it had been expected that the councillors would be putting forward a motion to only have casino gaming at the Sudbury Downs racetrack. However, no decision was made as the Sudbury council put the casino decision on hold.

While Counsellor Claude Berthiaume did put forward the motion that the racetrack should be considered the preferred location for a new casino, he did not have the support of the rest of his colleagues.

OLG Has Not Done Its Job

The general feeling amongst the councillors has been that the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has not done its job. In fact, the word that was used to describe the OLG's handling of the situation was "inept."

Councillor Frances Caldarelli said that she felt that the OLG should be cleaning up its own mess and that it is not for the council to do. She said: "I do think that's a good location for a casino, but you know what, I do not think that this is our problem to solve. I don't think we benefit the city by getting any deeper into this."

Councillor Terry Kett added the following comment about the OLG: "They have failed the people of Ontario miserably. And they've left us in a mess. Just a disgraceful mess."

Councillor Kett also expressed his concerns about locking down the casino location in the same place as the racetrack. He felt that if this is done, then it would take away the chance of there being a hotel or a convention centre in the future.

In response, Councillor Berthiaume said that he did not feel that the two could be separated and that both needed the other to be sustainable.

The councillors felt that they did not have enough information to make this decision and decided to invite representatives from Sudbury Downs, the OLG, and other interested parties, to meet with the councillors at a different meeting in order to provide the council with additional information.

Slots at Racetracks Programme

About two years ago, the Ontario province asked the OLG to stop the Slots at Racetracks programme and to rather introduce actual casinos in those municipalities that wished to do so. The necessary steps were not taken, and the city councillors are split on the decision of how to move forward. It is hoped that the upcoming meeting with the various players in the casino and racetrack situation will provide the council with enough information to do make the necessary decision.

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