Casinos set to deal jobs and entertainment to Ontario communities

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Ontario Construction Report staff writer

Construction has either wrapped up or is about to wrap up on casinos in Pickering, Sarnia and North Bay.

The first phase of the Pickering Casino Resort, from One Toronto Gaming, is set to open soon, featuring a range of gaming and dining options. The second phase of the resort promises entertainment and hotel choices. Once complete, the development will employ more than 2,000 as part of the casino resort’s team.

Meanwhile, in Sarnia Gateway Casino & Entertainment Ltd. announced recently that Gateway Casinos Sarnia was officially opened, with 150 new slots and the creation of more than 60 new jobs in the community.

And in North Bay, Cascade North Bay, a casino also from Gateway, is expected to open in the summer. Last May Gateway detailed how it would spend about $31 million to build the new casino, creating 300 new jobs in North Bay. When completed, it will span more than 39,000 square feet, featuring 300 slots and eight live table games.

“Gateway is delighted to be coming to the City of North Bay. We are proud to be one more reason to make this city your entertainment destination. This is the first time Gateway has put shovels in the ground in northern Ontario and we are very excited to be offering the citizens of North Bay a new and exciting entertainment and dining experience in their city,” Carrie Kormos, chief marketing and communications officer for Gateway Ontario, said last May.

The $31 million investment “will not only create 300 new jobs in North Bay, but will also provide millions in economic spin-offs throughout construction and with locally sourced goods and services when completed.”

The Sarnia casino spans 53,100 sq. ft., and features a 22,033-sq. ft. gaming floor. The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation’s Bruce MacKenzie was among the dignitaries offering congratulations.

“OLG congratulates Gateway on the grand opening of its casino in Sarnia,” said MacKenzie, OLG vice-president of land based gaming. “Investing in this gaming site and in the community will help ensure the best possible gaming experience for customers, increase awareness of the local horse racing industry and allow OLG to continue to deliver benefits to the people and Province of Ontario.”

Sarnia’s mayor Mike Bradley spoke for the community. “We are delighted to see the return of slots to Hiawatha Horse Park. We welcome the jobs and synergy with the horse racing industry. Good luck to everyone who visits Hiawatha Slots,” he said.

The construction of the Pickering casino began last year, and when open patrons will have more than 2,000 slot machines, 100 live table games, and 167 live dealer stadium  gaming terminals to choose from. Phase two will include a 2,500-seat theatre for year-round concerts, dance, live performances, and more. The hotel will have 275 guest rooms.

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