Kingsway Entertainment District successfully maintains the controversy level around itself especially when it comes to the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal and the decision it has to make. This Thursday is going to witness a special fundraising event at the Caruso Club in Sudbury offering more information about the appealing process. Local businessman Tom Fortin who is organizing it stated that so far he has poured some CA$350,000 opposing the entertainment and casino project.
Ever since the announcement of the project, the community has been polarized by the prospect of copious amounts of taxpayers’ cash spent and the introduction of a casino venue in the region. Due to the controversy, Ontario decided to introduce the Local Planning Appeal Tribunal that takes the responsibilities of the Ontario Municipal Board. It gives locals the chance to voice their opinion on a given subject and appeal against it.
Local Planning Appeal Tribunal Slows Down Process
Mr. Fortin is one of the individuals who claim that a new casino venue is not projected to bring a significant surge in tourists’ numbers, meaning that mainly locals would pour their cash into its gambling operation. It could be recalled that mid-December 2018 Mark Signoretti, Ward 1 City Councilor pointed out that Gateway Casinos & Entertainment is going to have to rely on locals’ cash predominantly despite projections for tourists making their way to Greater Sudbury.
The gaming facility is going to bear the name Starlight Casino and according to the casino operator, this is a project of great importance in the Northern Ontario area. The new casino venue was previously considered a magnet for tourists, but November’s Initial Public Offering of the casino operator never mentioned casino patrons from other locations as the main source of gaming revenue for the venue. Instead, locals could end up being the main force propelling the project ahead.
As it was stated in the Public Offering, that local funding is going to be essential for the casino project, something Mr. Fortin together with Downtown Sudbury Business Association disagrees with. Initial estimations were that the appealing process would cost some CA$150,000 and it would be solved over the span of a year. As it turns out, the overall tally could reach CA$500,000 over several years. The main reason for this slow process is that the LPAT needs time and extensive evaluations before it issues its decision.
February 21 Brings Special Event
What Mr. Fortin wants to clarify is that up until now Sudbury residents and businesses in the region have provided most of the funding, but he is the individual who has invested the most. Keeping this in mind, he wants to invite anyone interested at the special event on February 21 that would aim to amass some CA$30,000 in support of the cause. Every ticket for the events costs CA$100 per person, whereas tables cost CA$800 according to the announced details.
Instead of making the process easier and faster, LPAT is extending it beyond the initial projections and taxpayers’ money continue flowing. This fall could see the ultimate ruling according to locals, but Mr. Fortin estimates that the process might be extended well into 2020. In the meantime, the project is already preparing for construction, as it publicly issued the cost-sharing details of Kingsway Entertainment District.
As it was revealed, the casino operator would have to invest 14.7 percent of the funding for both roadworks in the area and intersection improvement. It would also have to offer 29.4 percent of the cost for blasting and grading on site, a process funded mainly by the City. In its entirety, the project is going to cost some CA$100 million.