For the past few months, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has been shopping around the idea of building a new casino in the GTA. A number of municipalities have stepped forward express their interest in hosting the new casino – but Hamilton-Burlington is not one of them.
While Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring has stated that his city has no interest in hosting the casino, Hamilton Mayor Bob Bratina had a different idea. He actually expressed interest in bringing the GTA casino to his city, but local counsellors were not on board with the idea. Unfortunately for him, the council did not support the hosting of a new casino in Hamilton. Additionally, in the last referendum held on the issue, 64% of residents opposed the construction of a Hamilton casino.
As it stands, there are only a few options available for Hamilton when it comes to gambling, and they all include Flamboro Downs. If the city wants to expand its gambling offering, councillors believe that the site should be renovated or expanded. They also believe that a new, smaller gaming site in the Hamilton-Burlington area would be beneficial to the local community; however, a multi-million dollar entertainment venue is not on the city’s plans.
So, it will be left up to Toronto and Mississauga to make plans for the new casino. With Mayors Rob Ford and Hazel McCallion considering the idea of hosting the casino in their respective cities, it may be best for other GTA areas to stay out. Las Vegas-based companies seem to be interested in investing only if the casino is based in the downtown core, which could be a deal-breaker for any other city in the Greater Toronto Area.
Regardless of where the new casino will be built, it will undoubtedly generate a huge amount of income for the municipality in which it is located and the province at large. Several sources have spoken out against the casino but the fact remains that it will not only boost tourism but also provide a new entertainment venue for local residents to enjoy.