After nearly three years of debate, Sudbury City Council, Ontario, voted Tuesday evening in favor of the zoning process required for the construction of the Kingsway Entertainment District. Although the casino project has been approved, the battle between supporters and opponents of the new casino will now have to be approved by the court, as it is now heading to Ontario’s newly established local planning appeals court.
At the Greater Sudbury City Council meeting, which began at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, lawmakers passed a formal plan amendment that included a zoning of land where the proposed casino and entertainment complex is to be built. Parliament voted 11-2 in favour of the amendment and the only civil servants who voted against were Mark Signoretti and Gary Montpellier and District Mayor No. 3. Last month, the city’s planning committee approved three zoning applications for casinos, stadiums and parking lots submitted by developer Dario Zulich. Parliament’s vote has ratified the zoning of Kingsway’s 20-hectare open space and is very likely to move the project forward. 슬롯머신
The plans for the new complex, named Kingsway Entertainment District, include a casino, a hotel tower and a C$100 million concert arena. It remains unclear who will develop and operate the hotel, but Boreal Hospitality Group and InterContinental Hotels Group said they were interested in the project. Gateway Casino and Entertainment announced that it will invest $60 million in a casino to replace Slots Farum on the harness racing track Sudbury Downs. Slots locations currently operated by Gateway include just over 400 slots to be relocated to new gambling facilities. In addition, the casino, which will be built on 6.96 hectares of land, will have three different restaurants.
There’s been a series of stinging attacks on the project
Tuesday’s vote ended months of heated debate and harsh criticism of Kingsway Entertainment District, especially with various social groups opposing casino facilities. The decision of Greater Sudbury City Council came after hours of discussion about the potential benefits and, above all, the potentially negative impact of the proposed complex on the community.
The concerns expressed earlier were once again raised by casino opponents at last night’s meeting, including criticism that no research has been conducted on environmental and economic impacts. According to some people, land treatment using salt for parking lots may harm Lake Ramsey, the city’s main source of drinking water. Others, including many health experts, are concerned about problematic gambling rates in the region, which could see a dangerous surge in the opening of new casinos. In addition, the new gambling location could have a much more dramatic impact on the poor communities of Sudbury, which are located nearby. This was one of the major issues pointed out in an open letter two weeks ago by representatives of about 50 religious groups.
Casino Free Sudbury Group’s anti-casino activists released a report last month that focused on the risks Kingsway Entertainment District poses to the economy. The study, conducted by consultant firm Urban Metrics, suggests that casinos may have difficulty attracting customers because they are located in remote areas. According to the findings, the only way gambling facilities can generate some revenue is by diverting revenue from other businesses in the city. This is why Tom Potin, who leads the Casino Free Sudbury Group, and 500 other businessmen in the region, say they are against the project. They are expected to file an appeal notice with the state’s new authority, the District Planning Appeals Tribunal, on these matters.