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Browse our selection of 3 Casino hotels & resorts in London for the ultimate stay & play vacation. Make your casino vacation a sure bet with Expedia and save your money & time. Gateway Casinos has given Londoners a first look at its new plan for a casino in the city. A public meeting was held at the London Chamber of Commerce on Monday evening. The 100,000 square foot. Find the best casino hotels in London, Ontario! Search from over 141 London hotels with casinos & play more by saving up to 60% with Hot Rate Deals.By Kirk DickinsonJuly 30, 2019 9:27pm
Despite raising several issues about a lack of public consultation, London Council has given its stamp of approval to allow a new casino to be built in the city’s southwest.
City council voted 9-4 in favour of rezoning of the property and approving the proposed site plan for Gateway Casinos and Entertainment to build a new $75 million casino at a site on Wonderland Road, north of Wharncliffe Road.
Debate surrounding the rezoning and site plan of the casino had many councillors divided on how to proceed, with some urging fellow councillors to vote on an amendment to allow for further public consultation on the site planning process. City staff estimated that a further public consultation on the site plan would delay the process by several weeks.
Councillor Maureen Cassidy expressed concern that not enough members of the community were given an opportunity to have their voices heard.
“This is a very big matter for the city of London and the region, including neighbouring First Nations communities. A public site plan meeting allows the public to weigh in,” said Cassidy, who added that only 11 notices went out for public consultation due to city rules that regulate how far applications are distributed from the planned site. “This is a city-wide issue… a lot more than 11 properties are impacted by this.”
Councillor Elizabeth Peloza also said her constituents had come to her with concerns about a possible increase in traffic and crime once the casino is operational.
The amendment was defeated, however, with Mayor Ed Holder arguing prior to the vote that any further delays to the project could result in Gateway deciding to build its casino elsewhere.
“This isn’t an issue about whether gambling should be legal in London — about 20 years ago that issue was decided. This isn’t an issue about expanding gambling — that issue was approved by the last council,” said Holder. “When you understand how business works, particularly as this process has taken longer than some might imaging… Gateway has a choice — they can go north of the 401 or they can go south. And what’s at stake? $75 million of construction with the construction jobs associated with it. That’s hundreds of jobs.”
He pointed out that $7 million a year in city revenue, along with the the 700 jobs that the new casino is expected to create, would have also been at risk.
“Every economic indicator says this makes sense for us… time delays mean real money,” he said.
While Holder said it is largely the responsibility of OLG, council did approve another amendment 11-2 that will allow for public consultation with nearby First Nations communities regarding the new casino. However, development and construction of the new entertainment complex will proceed as planned.
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The site of the new casino was first proposed at the Western Fair District, where the existing Gateway casino is located. However, debate lasted more than two years with the gaming company ultimately purchasing the land on Wonderland Road South. Operations at the Western Fair District casino are expected to cease once the new casino opens, with staff moving to the new location on Wonderland Road.
The “Starlight Casino” is expected to include 900 slot machines, 40 table games, live music and multiple restaurants. Gateway has billed the casino as the single largest investment the British Columbia-based company has made in Ontario.
The company recently opened a new $36 million casino in Chatham-Kent earlier this month.
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