The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation have selected Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited as the service provider for the North and Southwest Gaming Bundles, which includes the new casino in North Bay. OLG has entered into a Transition and Asset Purchase Agreement with Gateway for each of the North and Southwest Gaming Bundles, which set out the customary closing conditions to be satisfied for OLG and Gateway to enter into a 20-year Casino Operating and Services Agreement for each of the bundles. Under the COSAs, Gateway will take over day-to-day operations of: OLG Casino Thunder Bay, OLG Casino Sault Ste. Marie, OLG Slots at Sudbury Downs and the two new builds in North Bay and Kenora. OLG expects that the service provider will take over day-to-day operations in spring 2017.

This is another step in the casino process. The city has already approved rezoning applications on two properties on Pinewood Park Drive that would allow a gaming facility to be built. Mayor Al McDonald says where council will really have an impact on is the decision about which location in the city the proponent would like to build the casino on. He says if there is an area of town that council doesn’t want to see a casino built on, they don’t have to accept a rezoning proposal that would allow it. McDonald says the casino would create between 150 and 200 well-paying jobs in the community.

McDonald says as far as the building of the facility, Gateway will still be responsible for taking out permits, paying development fees and following building codes. Asked whether or not the casino will be one of the hot button topics of 2017, McDonald says you never know in politics. He says ultimately it will be council’s job to make decisions based on what’s best for the community when it comes to the casino.