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Gateway’s London Casino Progress

Published: February 10, 2019 3:07 pm ET

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Gateway Casinos & Entertainment has its work cut out for it in terms of building a casino at its leased Wonderland Road property in London, Ont. Although, the company’s director of communications, Rob Mitchell, has said that there is increased momentum behind the project now that a new London mayor is in office.

Gateway had struggled to strike an expansion deal for its offerings at the Western Fair District over the past few years. The company announced in December of 2018 that it had leased land on Wonderland Road in order to eventually relocate its London casino operation. The decision has put the future of live harness racing at Western Fair in jeopardy and has prompted multiple Ontario racing organizations to call for the historic London Standardbred venue to be supported.

Mitchell has told CTV News London that although the process moved slowly while former mayor Matt Brown was in office, the Wonderland Road project has gained momentum under the watch of new mayor Ed Holder.

“There are new opportunities in London with a change in leadership in the mayor's office,” Mitchell told CTV, “and we are very encouraged with the outreach we've received from the mayor's office, so I’m very optimistic about the future in London.”

Before ground can be broken at the location, Gateway will have to deal with an archaeological assessment of the Wonderland property, create a detailed site plan for development, and watch as the public process for rezoning occurs, which could be a four- to six-month process.

Mitchell is encouraged that the process is moving in the right direction, and he has stated that Gateway is working with the development department at city hall to optimize the process. “We are working very closely with the city and are happy to have established a dialogue with the new mayor,” Mitchell said.

(With files from CTV News London)

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