St Catharines Backs Niagara Falls in Attempt to Save Casino Jobs
Saint Catharines is making a response to Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation plan to select a new operator to run Casino Niagara and Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort.
The main concern is that the local region would lose around 1,400 jobs, which apart from increasing the unemployment rate would also have negative effect on the economy of the region.
Currently, Falls Management Group runs the two mentioned casinos and it will remain so until June 2019. In October last year, Ontario Lottery and Gaming have officially announced a Request for Pre-Qualification for prospective contenders interested in operating the two casinos.
The problem is that they did so without consulting local stakeholders and now councilors from Niagara Falls an St Catharines are set to stop this process of selection in order for it to be discussed and analyzed with regard to local community’s best interests.
Primarily, the focus on jobs, that is, keeping the existing workplaces and creating new ones.
Councilor Mike Britton’s motion reminds of the objectives which were set back in 1996 when the older of the two casinos, Casino Niagara was opened. The four objectives established at that time were as follows:
- increasing revenue for the region
- economic development
- job creating
- creating a stable and long-term economic benefit
In Britton’s words, it seems that most of these objectives are neglected in the new plans for the casinos. Britton emphasizes that job retention and job creation should be one of the main objectives, especially considering the fact that Casino Niagara and Niagara Fallsview Casino Resort employ over 4,000 people.
The motion was filed on Monday and it will be forwarded to Jim Bradley, Member of the Provincial Parliament in the Legislative Assembly of Ontario.