Montreal Public Health Disapproves Loto-Québec’s Mini-Casino Plans - Casino Reports
Montreal Public Health Disapproves Loto-Québec’s Mini-Casino Plans – Casino Reports

is not in consent with Loto-Québec of launching a mini- with over 300 video lottery terminals at Taverne 1909 next to the Bell Centre. Direction régionale de santé publique de Montréal issued a 40-page report on the project detailing the potential harms related to the opening of a casino right next to the home arena of the Montreal Canadiens.

The report concludes that the new gaming hall in downtown Montreal will result in a substantial change in the supply of gaming machines and does not recommend it. Instead, Public Health advises the province to continue to reduce the number of VLT sites in the city, as noted since 2017, by suspending the grant of operating permits per video lottery terminals.

The Regulator Did Not Expect Such Response

A spokesperson for Loto-Québec, Renaud Dugas, shared that the corporation was surprised that Montreal Public Health opted to send its report to journalists instead to the main party concerned, the Crown agency. He added that the Crown was surprised since it was working with MPH on the issue for two years, even before the reveal of the downtown project.

Director for the organization, Mylene Drouin revealed the provincial government requested for the report to be compiled and that it was submitted six weeks ago. Therefore, she had no responsibility to give her to the Crown corporation. MPH also criticized the Crown for lack of transparent public consultation of the various local stakeholders regarding the VLTs at Taverne 1909.

Furthermore, Ms. Drouin claimed that associating the gaming hall with the Montreal Canadiens will enable concerns for public health. In her opinion, joining a popular brand that is accepted and glorified with VLTs gives a sense of security, which is not the case. She commented that the result is a product that is quite dangerous for locals.

In the meantime, Concordia sociology professor Sylvie Kairouz argued that VLTs are made for addiction. She elaborated that these machines are designed to reward the player, and their speed of playing can be quite addictive, therefore, more people could spiral down and lose control when they gamble on VLTs in comparison to any other type of gambling activity.

Announcement and Initial Feedback

Loto-Québec first shared its plans for the gaming facility at Taverne 1909 back in March 2023, by CEO Jean-Francois Bergeron during a radio interview. Finance Minister Eric Girard commented the provincial government has two conditions for the Bell Centre project. The first one is to have public health as a priority, and the second one would be to try to ensure a lead decrease in VLTs in the province.

However the project is also opposed by several Montreal communities. Sud-Ouest borough and Peter-McGill district of the Ville-Marie borough have declared that they disapprove plans. Serge Sasseville, independent city councillor for the Ville-Marie borough's Peter-McGill district commented that the new gaming establishment could be harmful to vulnerable people in the area.

Source: Rowe, Daniel “Montreal public health recommends against video gaming machines at Bell Centre” CTV News, September 18, 2023

#Montreal #Public #Health # # # #Plans #Casino #Reports

Oneida Nation of the Thames Abandons Casino Plans - Casino Reports
Oneida Nation of the Thames Abandons Casino Plans – Casino Reports

In an online letter published on social media, of the announced that it will not be pursuing the project to launch a and destination resort south of London, Ontario. In the statement, Chief Todd Cornelus elaborated that after thorough consideration, the First Nation decided that such a project would not be a great fit for its community.

Back in 2019, the elected chief and council received an offer from an independent enterprise for the development of such a casino and resort site. The Chief and council of the time were willing to engage in discussions to explore the potential plan. However, now the tribe has opted against such a destination which would have been located south of London.

Oneida Will Not Pursue

In the social media statement, Mr. Cornelus commented that after much due diligence, the tribe came to the conclusion that such a project would not be a good fit for its community. He explained that the Nation's review, considered the safety of the community, liability to the tribe, and financial feasibility. Thus, deciding against the project.

Back in 2021, emerged claiming that Oneida's leaders were exploring partnering with MJM Enterprises Development from Detroit, U.S. to develop the resort. At the time, then Chief Adrian Chrisjohn stated that the project would help provide improved emergency response, care, and housing opportunities, along with a supply of safe drinking water.

In addition to that, also in 2021, a representative of MJM Enterprises Development, Mike Malik, shared that the company would be interested in such a project and that the site located between Highway 402 and Highway 401 had tremendous potential. However, it seems that the tribe has decided that the gambling resort would not be in the best interest of its community.

Operator Disapproved the Casino Development

However, it should be mentioned that Oneida Nation of the Thames' plans for a casino south of London did not receive great receptions at the start. Back in 2020, Gateway Casinos and Entertainment, which currently operates 14 gaming resorts across the province, spoke against a potential casino complex in the said area, due to having exclusivity rights in the region.

Back then Rob Mitchell, spokesperson for the leading brick-and-mortar gambling operator discussed how another casino venue would not have a place in the local market. This is due to the fact that the London region, as well as the entire Southwestern Ontario, is an area where the casino operator has exclusive rights when it comes to running gambling establishments.

But in response to that, the Chief for Oneida at the time, Jessica Hill stated that Gateway Casinos had its own stance on the topic. She explained the tribal nation was seeking ways in which it could support its people and establish new businesses in the region. It was also noted that members of the community have already expressed their opposition to the project.

Source: Varley, Kristylee “No casino and resort coming to Oneida Nation of the Thames” CTV News London, August 12, 2023

#Oneida #Nation #Thames # #Casino #Plans #Casino #Reports