THE CASINO DEBATE
It has been interesting, to say the least, watching the city of Peterborough debate the location of a new casino. Some thought was apparently even given to locating it downtown.
Why would anyone in their right mind suggest that it should be located in the downtown core? That would be, without a doubt, the worst possible location. The traffic congestion would make the downtown even less attractive than it is now for anyone to consider shopping there.
People who would be going to the casino would not patronize the downtown businesses and in that location it would be likely to attract an undesirable crowd to the downtown.
It is also interesting to hear members of city council claim how it will create hundreds of new jobs. Will it really create new jobs? They seem to be missing the point that the existing casino in Cavan Monaghan is a major employer. Those jobs will be eliminated or simply transferred to the new location, so there will not likely be any new jobs and most of the employees at the current casino are likely residents of Peterborough.
They are speculating that it will generate a considerable income for the city. That remains to be seen. In Cavan Monaghan the casino has generated a very nice windfall for the municipality over the years it has been located there.
Even if it was to stay where it is there is no guarantee that the level of funding for the municipality will remain at the current level.
When it was run by OLG there was an agreement that 5% of the profits would be paid to the host municipality. The property owner and the horseman’s association each got 10%. The horseman’s association has since been cut out of the picture.
The whole purpose of locating the original slots facilities at race tracks was because there was already gambling allowed there. That made sense.
It is also important to remember that the municipal percentage was on slots. There was no mention of table games should they be added to the facility.
Now that the casinos have been turned over to private enterprise it wouldn’t surprise me if the profit margin decreases, that’s how business works. It is easy to reduce the profits by paying bonuses to executives and other legitimate accounting practices.
At the current location there is more than ample parking and an additional 100 acres to the north that could possibly accommodate any future expansion.
A casino in the city will make it easier for people who can least afford to gamble to take part in such activity on a regular basis.
Traffic congestion at any location in the city will be annoying at best. It’s too bad the city could not get along better with their neighbouring municipality and stop playing the bully.
Only time will tell but it will be interesting to see how the city officials will spin the details and claim how good it all is for the city.
They have already guaranteed $150,000 a year to the DBIA for twenty years. What else will they do with the money even before it materializes?