The Manitoba First Nations owns a casino that is called Aseneskak Casino, which is currently placed over in The Pas. During last month the operator of the casino announced that they will be looking into moving the casino to a larger province in order to bring more traffic into the establishment. The new location of choice was going to be Winnipeg, but it turns out that the Manitoba Premier has decided to block the casino from being allowed to move their location from The Pas over to a new spot in Winnipeg.
The Progressive Conservative government has conducted a study on the area, which shows that the current casino market in many regions is over saturated. One of these areas that was included in the study is Winnipeg, which is the main reason that the Aseneskak Casino will not be allowed to move to this new location. As a result of this study, Pallister denied that the casino would be setup in Winnipeg.
This doesn’t mean that the casino is barred from moving at all, just not to this specific place. The operator of the casino currently owns a contract that states that it is allowed to move within the licensing agreement, which means that it will be quite likely that the casino will now start looking for another location in a less saturated market that might be a golden opportunity for the establishment.
One option is going to be Assiniboia Downs, as the casino has reached an agreement with the Peguis First Nation. Despite this, the move would have to be approved throguh the Manitoba government, who has the right to either allow the move or veto it. This seems unlikely since Pallister has made it very clear that he is going to do what he can to block the casino from moving. He believes that there is already an issue surrounding gaming and gambling and that there needs to be healthier methods of moving the economy.
Pallister has further elaborated on his opinion and stated that he would like to see people gaining jobs and new careers with opportunity to grow and build each other up. The gambling industry is not the right solution to achieve this goal, and other means will need to be found. He wants the casino to stay in its current position because the main point about allowing the current location was to put more jobs in communities that might be struggling to provide enough work for the people that live there. If a casino moves from these needed areas to more saturated locations then it is not going to be accomplishing what the original approval set out to do.
Some are saying that this decision is a bit hasty and that the government is intervening too quickly on this matter, with the New Democratic Opposition being the most vocal. This group stated that they are hoping the government at least took the time to speak with stakeholders in Winnipeg before jumping to this conclusion.