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Support For A Gaming Facility In Kingston

The City is seeking the input of residents on whether or not it should support the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) possibly locating a casino operation in Kingston. A public meeting to receive feedback on this question has been set for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 8 in Memorial Hall, City Hall at 216 Ontario St.

The public meeting will be attended by members of City Council, City staff and will be chaired by Mayor Mark Gerretsen. It will include a brief presentation of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s (OLG) process to modernize lottery and gaming in Ontario, followed by an opportunity for members of the public to speak. Those wishing to speak are being asked to register at the welcome table prior to the start of the meeting. Speakers will be chosen in random order and will each be allowed to speak for up to five minutes.

Members of the public may also share their opinion with the City through the following channels:

  • Online Survey
  • Telephone Survey: 613-546-0000
  • Written comments to:  Daniel Shipp, City of Kingston, City Hall, 216 Ontario Street, Kingston, ON K7L 2Z3, E-mail: [email protected]

The deadline for comment is August 14, 2012.

All feedback and comment on this issue will be compiled into a Report to Council that will be presented at a special meeting called no later than September, 2012.

Background Information

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) is opening the provincial gaming industry to private sector operators this fall. In preparation, the OLG wants to pre-determine the interest for possibly establishing a casino in Kingston and other communities in its E3 gaming zone, including Ganonoque and Leeds and Grenville United Counties, which already co-host a casino in Gananoque. Only one casino per gaming zone would be allowed.

For a gaming facility to be considered within the limits of the City of Kingston, Council must resolve to indicate support for a facility by the fall of 2012.

The OLG will not locate a gaming facility in a community whose Council does not want one. Should Council decide to support a facility in Kingston that would allow the OLG and private sector operators to initiate a RFP (request for proposal) process that includes Kingston as a potential location. More information can be found in the July 17, Report to Council.

What happens after Council votes?

If Council votes against supporting a gaming site in the city, the OLG will no longer consider any sites in Kingston as a potential location for a gaming facility. If Council votes in favour of supporting a gaming site in Kingston, the OLG will consider submissions from private operators to locate a casino within the City of Kingston. At this stage, the OLG will receive proposals from potential private sector operators for sites within the zone. From any and all site submissions made, the OLG will determine whether a site in Kingston would be the preferred gaming site in this part of the province. The OLG will also select the private sector operator. The City of Kingston would undertake its normal development review process for any proposed site within the City boundaries.

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6 thoughts on “Support For A Gaming Facility In Kingston

  • July 26, 2012 at 12:43 pm
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    Okay, just a quick reaction here: bankruptcies, broken families, depression, suicides, extra crime; versus some employment, tax and visitors' cash for the city? If, as an American survey found, 2.5% of their population are problem gamblers, that could translate to almost 3,000 in Kingston sorely tempted. A no-brainer: no casino.

    • July 26, 2012 at 7:49 pm
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      It would be over $3m a year directly into the city coffers before even considering the spinoffs. If anyone wants to gamble its just a short, cheap bus ride away with no benefit to Kingston, or online with no public benefit at all. If they were so bad you'd think the places with them would be anxious to get rid of them…instead they are up in arms at the prospect of losing them while others are lining up to say they want one. Its a no brainer to say we'd take the $3m, though probably still a long shot that it would come

      • July 26, 2012 at 8:09 pm
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        It pains me to say it, but I'm kind of leaning this way as well. Where are the cold hard facts re: the impact of gambling. Not doubting they exist, just want someone who's on the other side to convince us that casinos are really as taboo as folks make them out to be. Even if we did put up our hand for a casino, I think it would be an empty gesture. Is there really anything wrong with the infrastructure at the GanCan?

        • August 2, 2012 at 11:57 am
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          The city of Kingston does not need a casino, unless it wants to kill the amazing culture and spirit of the city. The negative social effects are not theoretical, they are real, and in a city where so many citizens are already struggling to get by, living below or near the poverty line, this would be a disaster. It is quite easy to fall into a gambling addiction when desperate, and while the city is not responsible for people's actions, it should protect its citizens, not put them in danger, on purpose. The negative social consequences will affect not only those who gamble, but their children, who are already in need of guidance, as well as the other citizens of the city, who will not be immune to the feeling of despair that fills such places. Even the culture of Kingston will suffer, tainted by the black mark of gambling, addiction, drugs, alcohol, and overindulgence. Is that really what we want this historic city to become? These are not exaggerations. This is what happens when casinos become a part of an urban environment. And I would be very sad to see Kingston's soul disappear with the hopes and dreams that gambling and casinos steal away. Do your research. Contact social services in Kingston and get their opinions too. Casinos may seem like fun and games, but except for cities like Las Vegas and Atlantic City, who has ever heard of casino cities thriving? I think we can all agree that even those two cities carry negative associations. That is not my Kingston.

  • July 29, 2012 at 9:33 pm
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    Let's scrap the "Gaming Facility" euphemism… It is a Casino… Richmond B.C.'s experience with a casino may offer some insight into some of the problems Kingston could face… .

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