Sudbury city councillors are in agreement that they want a new casino for the city to be more than a casino.
At its Tuesday night meeting, council voted unanimously on a motion stating that the city is interested in a casino that comes with extras like a hotel, a convention centre or an Ontario Hockey League arena. The vote sets the stage for negotiations with the private company the province selects to run Sudbury's casino.
City councillor Dave Kilgour said it's best to keep the message general, at this early stage and to note "that we're willing to work with whoever gets the thing and our expectations are not low … our expectations are going to be high."
Council decided to leave the debate about the exact location of the casino for another day. But city councillor Evelyn Dutrisac said she believes it should stay at the racetrack in Azilda until it's clear the private sector is willing to invest in a resort-type complex.
"Then, let's bring it back and let's discuss it," she said.
"But in the meantime, I firmly believe that Sudbury Downs should be our first choice."
Ontario Lottery and Gaming is expected to name the winning bidder for the casino contract by the end of the year — that company will run all five casinos in northern Ontario, including Sault Ste. Marie, North Bay and Sudbury.