Business Group: No Casino In Kingston

Published: September 14, 2012 11:55 am EDT

It has been reported that on Wednesday, September 12, the Board of Management for Downtown Kingston!, an association of 750 businesses located in the core commercial area of the City of Kingston, passed a motion which recommended that the City of Kingston not make itself a willing host municipality for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp.'s controversial gaming modernization plan.

An article by the The Kingstonist explains that the board, in its decision, noted that once Kingston labels itself as willing host for casino introduction, it is the OLG that will then be setting the parameters on the expansion, and it will then view, evaluate and ultimately accept a proposal.

The Downtown Kingston! board also defined and explained what it says is the difference between 'destination casinos' and 'urban casinos.' The board labelled the latter type of casino as having a negative effect on downtown Kingston if it were to be introduced, stating that urban casinos receive large portions of their gross revenues (estimated at $120 million) from within the population of the host municipality. Thus, the board concluded that local disposable income (which would eventually turn into casino revenue) would therefore leave the local business market, whether the casino is located downtown or elsewhere in the city.

A report by Kingston EMC has stated that OLG representatives have confirmed that they will accept an invitation to appear at the scheduled September 18 Kingston City Council meeting to answer questions about the modernization plan.

The article has also quoted Kingston Commissioner of Sustainability and Growth Cynthia Beach as saying that, "A casino is not specifically contemplated within the policies of the Official Plan (the city's Official Plan and Zoning rules)."

A public information meeting to obtain public input regarding the possibility of the introduction to casino gaming to the Vaughan area was held Thursday night at the Hotel Novotel at 200 Bass Pro Mills Road. Prior to the meeting, Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua told 680News the purpose of the meeting was "to get their (the public's) feedback, to get their input, and to see if in fact we as a city want to go down the road of having [casino gaming in the area]."

(With files from The Kingstonist, Kingston EMC and 680News)

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