North Bay Casino Meeting With City Leaders

In Canada, opponents of a plan that would bring casinos to the community from North Bay are reportedly ready to meet with local council officials tomorrow in the hope of convincing them to rethink a 2012 decision that saw the small Ontario town designated as the host community.

According to a report from the local North Bay Nugget newspaper, the council will hear presentations from group members at North Bay Casino and others concerned about the socio-economic impact of opening a gambling venture in the town of Nipissing District on Tuesday as opponents continue to increase their efforts to stop the casino from opening its doors.

“Our position is that it is not over to the end,” Kay Heuer of North Bay Casino told the newspaper.

December sees the state-run Ontario Lottery And Gaming Company sign a 20-year contract that will see a new Vancouver-based Gateway Casino And Entertainment Limited open in the Ontario cities of North Bay and Kenora and take over the existing gambling facility in Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie. and Sudbury.

However, Heuer told the newspaper that arrangements to bring the casino to North Bay remain subject to negotiation, confirmation and acceptance by the local community and that he has not seen the council come up with any research or argument that the facility would be of benefit to residents.

“Our research is that none,” Heuer told the newspaper before suggesting that the social costs associated with casinos would far outweigh the economic benefits.

Heuer reportedly also explained that Tuesday’s meeting is expected to include a presentation focused on business, church and counseling perspectives and could include a new call for the city to conduct a study of the economic impact into casino openings.

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The North Bay Nugget reports that local health authorities have asked city leaders to set aside a portion of the expected revenue from casinos in order to establish a responsible gambling program while previously recommended conducting research to determine the prevalence of gambling problems in the community followed by future investigations to see if this rate has changed.

In addition, the newspapers reported that more than 60 local doctors recently signed a petition calling on council leaders to do their best to protect citizens from the negative impact of the coming casinos, who are eligible to offer up to 300 slots along with some 120. live gaming table chairs.

The North Bay Nugget reports that the planned North Bay casino is expected to create 150 to 200 new jobs while the city will benefit from paying an annual property tax along with a 5% share of gambling revenue, which could reach as high as $ 1.5 million annually.

Carrie Kormos, Marketing And Communications Senior Vice-President for Gateway Casinos And Entertainment Limited, told the newspaper in January that her company plans to work with local communities before settling on the scope of the project including the facilities it will offer. He also reportedly stated that more detailed citizen input and market research would help determine what kind of casino the British Columbia company would bring to the city of 51,000 people.