While people in the city of Toronto have tried and failed to get a casino, on Tuesday it was announced that another one of Ontario's cities will be opening one up. It's official: A casino will be built in the city of Peterborough.
In terms of the specifics, Ontario Gaming East Limited Partnership shed light on the details, including the fact that the casino will be located at 1400 Crawford Drive. Current photos of the location showed an empty piece of land for lease west of The Parkway and Crawford Drive, but that won't be the case for long. The Shorelines Casino Peterborough, as it has been named, will stand as a massive entertainment facility, which will include everything from table games, slots and all sorts of other attractions.
The next steps for the company will be to start the formal process with the city to sort out the zoning and bylaws, which shouldn't be too big of a hurdle.
Of course, not everyone is happy about the new casino. Cavan Monaghan Township, which hosts the Slots at Kawartha Downs in Fraserville and is a direct competitor, voiced their displeasure via a press release. A number of lobby groups that tried to fight the casino - including No Casino Peterborough - were not happy about the announcement. They are expected to stage protests outside of city hall in the coming days.
Peterborough-Kawartha MP Maryam Monsef, who recently ran for mayor, also opposed the casino. She feels that there are all sorts of negative consequences that come with such a venue, including things like addiction. At this point, it seems like the competitors, lobbyists and naysayers have done all they can do and will just have to watch how things progress.
However, it's not all doom and gloom as some of the opponents would have you believe. The new casino will create at least 180 permanent jobs as well as a number of other temporary jobs throughout the construction. It should also provide plenty of revenue for the city and should boost the visitor count as well.
The city of Peterborough has a population of just over 116,000, but what's interesting is that it's only a 90-minute drive from Toronto. Toronto has a population of just over four million people, and currently residents will drive to places like Casino Rama (nearly two hours) and The Great Blue Heron Charity Casino (about an hour and 15 minutes) to get their taste of the action. That's because they don't have any closer places to get that full experience.
However, now they have another option on the table and the Peterborough casino will be the newest and shiniest option on the block. In other words, the new Peterborough casino could pull away some of that action from the other venues.
We're still a long ways away from The Shorelines Casino Peterborough opening its doors but Tuesday was a big first step towards making it happen.