A pair of city councillors are suggesting the odds of a casino being built in Cornwall are about as likely as you winning the jackpot at the roulette wheel – not good.
Still, city council received a report from administrators Monday night which detailed how Cornwall will argue to the Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) Corporation why this region would make a good home for a new casino.
And the city has successfully communicated to the OLG its displeasure with being left off a map of the province outlining specific gaming zones.
In the map of gaming zones produced by the OLG, eastern Ontario ended at Ingleside – some 30 km west of the city.
“We communicated our protests, and they said ‘Sorry, we won’t do that again,’” Coun. Denis Carr said in an interview. He went on to say he’s not in favour of seeing a casino built in Cornwall and further suggested it’s unlikely to happen anyway
The city was made aware recently that it faces several impediments should it decide to push for the construction of a gaming house locally.
One of the biggest obstacles continues to be the fact that a moratorium on the construction of new casinos in Ontario remains in effect. A Ministry of Finance official has indicated to city hall that the moratorium would have to be lifted before Cornwall or any other community decided to move forward with a casino.
That’s in addition to being left off a list of gaming zones in the province. In eastern Ontario, there are four such zones including Peterborough, Belleville, Kingston and Ottawa - but not Cornwall.
Coun. Elaine MacDonald said on top of all the provincial roadblocks, there has yet to be a groundswell of support from taxpayers to build a casino here.
“It’s so remote,” she said of the likelihood of construction. “Nobody is really asking for us to do this.”