Niagara Mayor Wants Province to Reissue New Casino Operator Plans

Publish: 03.03.2017

There has been some rather unusual controversy in Niagara this week as the mayor and Regional Chairman have both asked the Province to abandon its plans on selecting new operators for the region’s two casinos.

A Letter of Protest

Mayor Jim Diodati and Regional Chairman of Niagara Alan Caslin have sent a letter to Finance Minister Charles Sousa asking the government to halt the ongoing new service provider process for Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino which includes a request for pre-qualification with aim to maximise the provincial revenue.

Diodati and Caslin are arguing that revenues cannot be the only determining factor as up to 1,400 jobs could be lost is the current new operators process continues to ignore local objectives.

A letter sent to Finance Minister is calling the Province government to start over with the new plan which would include four objectives which were initially proposed back in 1996, when Casino Niagara opened.

Those objectives included aspects such as job creation, economic development, lasting contribution to economy through tourism, and maximizing of the revenue.

Potential Problems

Mayor Diodati and regional Chairman Caslin fear that current proposal for a new service provider which is to replace the Falls Management Group in 2019 could lead to closure of Casino Niagara.

Falls Management are currently operating the two casinos in OLG’s behalf, but the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp has previously announced that the contract will not be extended.

Diodati and Caslin feel that the OLG modernization could be of devastating effect to local community and that it would have a huge impact on local business and cause job losses.

OLG spokeperson Tony Bitonti refused to comment on the letter, as it was addressed to the provincial government, adding that OLG is currently reviewing RFPQ submissions.