Casino expansion could boost business, jobs: councillors
Casino expansion will only happen if private sector operator steps forward, OLG says
Posted: May 22, 2012 9:12 AM ET
Last Updated: May 23, 2012 8:16 AM ET
Some business leaders and politicians are cheering the potential expansion of Thunder Bay's Casino.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation raised the possibility last week as part of its invitation to the private sector to submit proposals.
City councillor Ken Boshcoff said he thinks it would create more jobs and boost more community events.Thunder Bay councillor Ken Boshcoff (CBC)
"The significant thing is that the casino is a major community player, donor, [and] sponsor,” he said. “Plus, the staff [is] involved in the community too."
A spokesperson for the Business Improvement Association in Thunder Bay’s north core said a casino would bring even more people downtown.
"We thought that people just went to the casino, lost their money and then went home,” said restaurant owner and downtown waterfront BIA vice-chair Jim Commuzzi. “[But] we have found just exactly the opposite."
While some city councillors, like Boshcoff and Rebecca Johnson said they like the idea because the casino creates jobs and is a good corporate citizen, one councillor urged caution concerning the hidden costs, such as the cost of addictions treatment.
“I think both the expansion and the privatization will have significant social impacts on this community,” Andrew Foulds said.
Local resident Vi Eddy said she isn't even sure more slots are needed as the current casino "doesn't seem to ever be too packed."
OLG said it will only consider expanding the casino if the idea is implemented by a private sector operator.
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