Over the course of a few weeks the number of signatures on a petition opposing casino expansion in Sudbury has grown from a few dozen to several hundred.
"That's just phenomenal," said petitition organizer Ruby Lougheed Yawney, who has said she'd close the slots at Sudbury Downs if she could.
While she realizes there is little support for a move like that, she said she at least wants to prevent a full casino — with table games like poker — from coming to the city.
Lougheed Yawney’s job as a financial planner has opened her eyes to the dangers of problem gambling. Her petition, between paper and online canvassing, has garnered about 700 signatures.
But the move to quash plans for casino expansion in Sudbury may fall on deaf ears.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation said a citizens’ petition might not be enough to stop plans from moving forward, as Sudbury city council has already voted to remain a gaming community.
"We respect the will of council as they're democratically elected," said Tony Bitonti, OLG spokesperson.
"And any type of petition that would come forward would have to be considered by the city council and then they would have to make the decision from there."
Sudbury’s mayor affirmed to CBC News that council has already resolved to support gaming in the city and has agreed to support a new gaming facility.
"There's already a resolution to support gaming at council," Marianne Matichuk said.
Bitonti said a casino operator is expected to be chosen by the OLG by the end of this year.