First let’s clarify the terms. A “casino” was never really in the discussion, although just about everyone used that term. What the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. (OLG) offered was a “gaming facility” as they euphemistically called it. A gambling joint, others said.
It was to be a warehouse-like, windowless building with up to 300 slot machines. No keno, no gaming tables for poker or blackjack, no roulette. Up to (and maybe less than) 300 slot machines. No guarantees on the number, just up to 300.
The OLG decides how many: not the town, not the operator. The town can’t even comment on who the operator will be. That decision is in the OLG’s hands.*
Locals also referred to it s a “slot barn,” underscoring its aesthetic deficits. Casino, however, stuck as the word for general palaver.
The OLG made an enthusiastic pitch to every municipality in its artificially-created and somewhat illogically-determined “zone seven.” Do you want to be a host, they asked, assuming a civic stampede to their door. They held out the promise of money. Who doesn’t want money? It helps grease the wheels of municipal progress. Continue reading