Whitby Chamber encourages Town Council to tell Ontario Lottery Corporation our community is open for business!
Posted Date: 2012-07-30 13:26:41
Monday July 30, 2012 (Whitby) -
In May, The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation announced it had split up the province into 29 potential gaming zones and would be asking the different communities within those zones, if there was interest in hosting a new gaming facility. The Town of Whitby is in Zone C 3, which includes Whitby, Pickering and Ajax. OLG has stated there will be a new gaming facility constructed in this zone and requested that a Town or City who is interested in becoming a municipal host, to state their interest.
"The economic benefits of becoming a host community for a gaming facility is significant so we cannot ignore the possibilities and opportunities it would provide our community", stated a disappointed Gordon Mackey (Whitby Chamber of Commerce CEO) after seeing the split decision vote of Whitby Town Council on July 13th.
The Whitby Chamber of Commerce provided a letter of support signed by Graeme Auchincloss the President of the Board of Directors recommending that Whitby Town Council move forward and advise OLG that the Town of Whitby was open for business and that we'd be proud to look into becoming a host.
The following are some of the highlights from the letter provided to the Mayor and Council members prior to the July 13 meeting:
1. It's been estimated that revenue generated by the gaming facility could be greater than five million dollars to the host community annually.
2. It is estimated a new facility would require more than 285 full time jobs that currently exist at OLG Ajax Slots.
3. A facility would provide increased property taxes for the Town
4. Expanded Economic Development/Tourism opportunities to the host community – over 70 percent of people visiting the OLG Ajax Slots are from outside Durham Region
5. A new facility may lead to other economic development opportunities such as a new hotel, convention centre, and performance centre. These are amenities currently associated with the casinos in Niagara Falls, Orillia and Windsor.
"The Chamber supports initiatives that are going to create local jobs, generate revenue for the community and promote tourism and economic development. Since OLG has indicated that one gaming facility will be located in either Pickering, Ajax or Whitby (Zone C 3) we would prefer to see it located in our community", said Chamber President Graeme Auchincloss.
The Town of Whitby have indicated that the Council will again be revisiting this issue at a meeting on Tuesday, August 14th.
Over the next two weeks, the Whitby Chamber of Commerce is asking the business community to assist them in lobbying the Town Council to provide positive re-enforcement of the potential economic impact and prosperity this opportunity is for our community.
OLG Background Information
Town of Whitby Staff Recommendation Report
Whitby Chamber Letter to Council
Statement of Support (just sign and email or fax back to Council)
Please Email or fax your support to being a host community to firstname.lastname@example.org, 904-686-6954. If possible please send a copy of your support to the Whitby Chamber of Commerce. (cc' to email@example.com or fax 905-668-1894)
Chief Executive Officer
905-668-4506 ext 222