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New Canadian Casinos Put British Columbia and Ontario at Center of Action

Casinos mean different things to everyone. Some see new casinos as an economic boost, a business that will provide jobs and deliver revenue to local and provincial governments. Others see them as a form of entertainment, a place to gather with friends and enjoy the art of the gamble.

Nevertheless, casino opponents do play an important role in ensuring that new Canadian casinos are strategically placed and do as much to serve the community as to take money from its residents. The various parties involved in casino decisions often take months – even years – to finalize agreements before construction can even begin.

On the other side of those discussions, though, are actual casinos. Several of them are now in the works in British Columbia and Ontario.

Cascades Casino Delta for Mid-2020

The casino will be open to the public in the middle of 2020, and is set in stone. The British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC) gave its final approval to the Cascades Casino Delta last week.

Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited will operate the facility, which is set to consist of a hotel with up to 124 rooms, meeting space, live entertainment venue, restaurants, and a casino. There will be approximately 500 slot machines in the casino, 24 table games, and possibly six electronic game tables.

With 25 years of experience under its belt, Gateway operates more than two dozen gaming properties in British Columbia, Edmonton, and Ontario. Situated at the intersection of Highway 99 and Highway 17A will be the new Delta casino development, with construction scheduled to get underway in early 2019.

The proposal has attracted some complaints, though. One came from the City of Richmond, which expressed concern about traffic and crime. In mid-October, BCLC subsequently approved the project.

Shorelines Casino is Open

Fans of gambling who live in Peterborough, Ontario have likely visited the new Shorelines Casino. The venue, located just off Sir Sandford Fleming Dr. at The Parkway, officially opened in October 2018.

The casino boasts 500 slot machines, 22 table games, and two major restaurants. There is also a sportsbook and live entertainment area, all spread out over 50,000 square feet. Set to open next to the casino in May 2019 is also a Hampton Inn and Suites by Hilton.

The Great Canadian Gaming Corporation built the facility for $49 million. The Shoreline Casino Peterborough is a sister casino to others in Belleville, Kawartha Downs, and Thousand Islands. However, Great Canadian Gaming has many more properties spanning the provinces of Nova Scotia, British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Ontario. It also has four casinos in the northern United States.

The casino was years in the making, as construction only started in September 2017. This followed quite a bit of wrangling with the local government, residents, and the hotel property landowner, Roshan Holdings. Finally, however, the building crew pushed through bad weather and completed the entire establishment in 13 months.

London and Ontario Place Casinos Futures Unclear

Two more casino projects remain in limbo in Ontario, both with equally complicated stories.

Ontario Place is a large lakeshore property in Toronto. Its amenities include a park, remnants of a theme park, movie theatre, a live event venue, and a marina. But there have been debates surrounding the redevelopment of the area for quite some time. Premier Doug Ford has been one of the figures supporting a casino as a part of the project. However, he has been facing some pushback, and opposition to the casino continues to delay decisions.

In London, a city just north of the US border in Ontario, Gateway Casinos & Entertainment is at work to land another casino after just securing one in Delta, as mentioned above. The company proposed a deal with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) to build a new casino on Wonderland Road in the Western Fair District.

This area is famous for its shopping and music, raceway and sports activities. This is in addition to the actual Western Fair that has a long history in the town. Gateway wants to build a new casino, the revenue from which would further benefit London. But the $140 million casino is in flux due to zoning issues.

Many hope the Western Fair project will be finalized in the coming months when new city council representatives take their positions.