This week’s Council Capsule featured Deputy Mayor Tanya Vrebosch. She spoke about Wednesday night’s special council meeting regarding the decision on the casino.

Click below to hear the interview.

Here are my thoughts on the subject:

North Bay is likely getting a Casino, and overall, there have been more positives to boast about than negatives with this decision

I’ve been here since 2009. Outside of the city bringing OHL Hockey back to North Bay, there have been very few big economic opportunities that has come to this city.

Since I’ve been here, the population has declined and there have been more jobs that have closed than have opened, or stayed opened. This casino will create 200 jobs.

There are concerns there will not be any revenue recouped by the city.

However, because it’s owned by OLG they are obligated to put a portion of the proceeds back into the community.

There are concerns about social implications around gambling addictions. Those already exist and OLG provides tremendous support and outreach programs for gambling addiction help and support in the communities they operate in.

Below are a few testimonials.

The OLG Casino in Brantford opened in 1999. In 2016 the Mayor Chris Friel said

“It turned out to be very positive for the community as a whole … (but) if you create unrealistic expectations for a casino it will falter. It is not, and will not be, the cash cow everyone expects it to be. It will not completely change the downtown….But the way we have invested our share of the money, it did … The social impact is not even measurable in our social service department. If you are worried about the relationship between the poor and addictive gambling you should be more concerned about addiction that leans more toward lottery tickets at variety stores.” (…/2183505-what-s-it-like-when-a-ca…/)

Meantime, Debbie Amaroso – Mayor of Sault Ste. Marie says about their casino,

“The casino is a valuable corporate partner in this community and a large employer. Absolutely we want to ensure we have them here for a very long time. We have used slot revenue to build a new hospital those funds have made significant differences in our health care. … One of the concerns I know in other communities is the perceived criminal elements that go along with a casino, but that has not happened. The police respond to no more calls there than they would at any establishment that serves alcohol It’s like anything else, if you’re not in control of it, then it controls you. and that’s not reserved for just gambling, you see it with alcohol and drugs, anything that can create addictive behaviour.” (…/2183505-what-s-it-like-when-a-ca…/)

North Bay has been stuck in this idea that change is bad, but we need to start accepting change and moving away from what we have been doing…which is basically nothing and complaining about everything going to Sudbury. Well guess what, we’re getting a casino and Sudbury probably isn’t and it’s something you should be looking forward to.

~Matt in the Morning

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