How will casino gaming be affected?
Gaming is a popular form of entertainment in Ontario, and has been since OLG’s first casino opened in 1994. However, player demographics have changed over time. There is a clear need to become more customer-focused.
Due to their distance from population centres, some sites are inconveniently located for OLG’s customers. Moving some sites to more densely populated areas could allow OLG to broaden its customer base; build newer, enhanced sites; and increase its return to the Province.
As part of OLG’s modernization, new gaming sites could be built in Ontario. The new sites will only go to areas where there is customer interest, and with explicit municipal approval. The underserved markets of North Bay, Kenora, Collingwood/Wasaga Beach are being considered for development. A new gaming site is being built in the City of Belleville. The strategic placement of new sites would be more convenient for customers while adding revenue for Ontario and new host municipalities.
Private Sector Involvement
Today, there are 24 gaming facilities in Ontario. Any maintenance or improvements to existing facilities are dependent on taxpayer funding. However, with expanded private sector involvement, OLG could avoid public expenditure on capital, while addressing the interest in gaming in select regions across the province. Engaging the private sector to run the day-to-day operations, and to provide capital investment (as well as some operating expenses), would allow OLG to focus on its conduct and manage role – maximizing the Province’s return and ensuring Ontario’s Responsible Gambling standards are upheld.
A service provider can propose adding table games at a gaming site that currently has none, relocating a current gaming site or building a new gaming site. However, this can only occur where there is municipal consent and a viable business case put forth by a service provider, which is subsequently approved by OLG.
Any new facility, introduction of table games at a gaming site that currently has none, or the proposed relocation of an existing gaming site, is subject to final approval from the Ontario government.