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More Casino Talk In SW1 Zone

Published: February 19, 2013 3:03 pm ET

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With Wilmot Township added to the list of municipalities voting against being a willing casino host, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation will look for approval from an area that turned them down nearly two decades ago.

Last Monday, Wilmot Council voted 4-2 against entertaining public conversation on bringing a casino to the township.

“In very rare instances do you get feedback that is so overwhelmingly one sided. I would say it’s 20-1,” said Coun. Jeff Gerber according to an article in the New Hamburg Independent. “So in that sense I don’t feel we’re robbing a quiet majority of people in Wilmot Township who want this.”

This decision limits the OLG in its desire to modernize gaming in Waterloo Region. Woolwich Township is still debating the possibility and is hosting the first of two public sessions on Tuesday night in Elmira, with the meeting set to begin at 6:00 p.m. in the township office building at 24 Church St. W.

According to the Council agenda, four people have registered to speak on the casino issue as of Tuesday morning.

  • Art Sinclair, Greater KW Chamber of Commerce
  • Dr. Liana Nolan, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Region of Waterloo
  • Mark Bingeman – Chair of Waterloo Regional Tourism Marketing Corporation
  • Rob Simpson, Former CEO of the Ontario Problem Gambling Research Centre

Members of the public are also welcome and may speak at the meeting.

In the 1990s, it was debate over a casino in Elmira that forced the racetrack out of town. The Township of Centre Wellington welcomed the track and its slot operation, resulting in Grand River Raceway to be constructed in Elora.

Woolwich Township will hold a second meeting on Tuesday, March 5 at which time Council will make its decision on the possible establishment of a gaming facility in the municipality.

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