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Western Fair Proposal To Be Unveiled

Published: December 7, 2017 12:34 pm ET

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It has been reported that a proposal in regard to the future of the Western Fair District is expected to be delivered in the coming days.

According to an article by the London Free Press, representatives from Gateway Casinos & Entertainment are scheduled to meet with local politicians during a council committee meeting this coming Monday (December 11).

Gateway spokesman Rob Mitchell has been quoted as saying that, in addition to other things, his company has a focus on family-friendly offerings.

“We’re not like traditional casinos,” Mitchell said, “and we’re certainly not like the existing facility. That’s the slots-in-a-box model. We’re about bright, new, modern buildings with open spaces and public spaces. We’re family friendly.”

This past May, Gateway signed a 20-year Casino Operating and Services Agreement with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. and purchased the business and assets of the Southwest Gaming Bundle. Gateway took over day-to-day operations and the assets of the Southwest Gaming Bundle on May 9.

In early November, Mitchell went on the record as saying that the Western Fair District and the City of London must lower its leasing cost or sell Gateway some of the fair property if a casino expansion and its accompanying amenities, which could include a hotel, are to come to the site. He also said that “there are other options in the city of London that we are looking at.”

Days later, Western Fair District CEO Hugh Mitchell stated that negotiations had been “complex” due to the fact that there are agreements between four entities: the city of London – which is the co-owner of most of the fairgrounds – the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp., the Western Fair District and gaming operator Gateway Casinos & Entertainment.

“Without the lease payments we can not support live racing,” Western Fair’s Mitchell was quoted as saying. “We’re working with the government and Gateway to find a solution.”

(With files from the London Free Press)

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