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Casino Proposed For Pickering

Published: March 4, 2014 10:34 am ET

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While the news of expanded gaming developments in Ontario has subdued substantially, one new proposal sprung up last week for a new tourist development that includes a hotel, waterpark, performing arts centre, outdoor amphitheatre and a casino.

According to the Pickering News Advertiser, the City of Pickering received an application from Pickering Developments to rezone a section of land located just south of Hwy. 401 and on the north side of Bayly Street to accommodate a tourist destination named Durham Live.

“It will be one of the must go and see destinations in Ontario for young and old alike,” reads a report written for the project.

This proposed casino would reside with a 10-minute drive of a current gaming establishment: the Ajax Downs quarter-horse racetrack and OLG slots, just East of Pickering.

Thomas Melymuk, Pickering’s director of city development, said in an e-mail to the paper that a public information meeting has been tentatively planned for April 7 with a City staff recommendation report to follow sometime in the Summer.

This time last year the OLG was full steam ahead on its modernization plan that pitched 29 casinos to the province. That all seemingly changed when Premier Kathleen Wynne announced in a March 8, 2013 press conference that she was instructing the OLG to reintegrate horse racing with the province's gaming strategy.

In the Requests for Pre-Qualification issued in December, gaming operators were given specifications for a gaming zone that included the GTA Gaming Bundle – Gaming Zones C2 (OLG Slots at Woodbine Racetrack); C3 (OLG Slots at Ajax Downs); and potentially C8 (Great Blue Heron Casino). Only one new site was officially proposed, the C7 site in the Central Gaming Bundle with a planned gaming venture in Collingwood or Wasaga Beach.

With the December RFPQ, the OLG did leave room for new expansion in existing gaming zones.

"As part of the RFP process, pre-qualified service providers will, in some cases, be able to propose the construction of a new gaming site anywhere within an OLG-defined geographic Gaming Zone, where there is municipal support."

As announced by the OLG yesterday, the deadline for the GTA RFPQ has been extended to May 8, 2014.

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