Gateway Casinos Demands KED Assurances

Site preparation of Greater Sudburyโ€™s Kingsway Entertainment District was on schedule to start this week, however, the project faces yet another obstacle. Gateway Casinos & Entertainment, which is a partner from the project, says that it cannot proceed with the development until some of the uncertainties around the event centre are resolved.

The company is set to develop a casino property in the new CA$100 million KED arena worth approximately CA$60 million. The project will also feature a hockey arena, a hotel, along with several other amenities. Previously, the event centre has overcome many legal challenges and other obstacles but appears that another one is on its way.

Rising Concern

In a recent email to CAO Ed Archer, sent on Monday morning, Jagtar Nijjar, executive VP of development and construction for Gateway Casinos, said that the company remains supportive of the project. He also shares that the gaming leader still considers Greater Sudbury as the best location for its premium gaming entertainment facility in the region.

However, the gaming conglomerate has some concerns about the project as stated in the email discussion. Mr. Nijjar noted that despite investing CA$4 million in the arena, the KED continues to suffer from significant risks, such as the Minnow Lake Restoration Group’s legal action, which will not be reviewed in court before April 2022.

The spokesperson for the gaming leader claims that with the uncertainties it is not commercially reasonable for the company to resume funding to the next step of the project until those ongoing challenges are resolved. He concluded the email by stating that the company is hopeful to see a quick and successful resolution of the project while continuing to work with other project stakeholders.

Also, on Monday, Ian Wood, the cityโ€™s executive director of strategic initiatives, communications, and citizen services, informed that site preparation of KED is put on hold. According to him, this was due to too many questions and the request from Gateway Casinos. The cityโ€™s administration says that it will now meet with partners from the project to discuss the latest developments.

Council Frustration

Last week, an anti-KED group consisting of Patrick Crowe, Keith Clarkson, Hazel Ecclestone, and Arthur Peach expressed its frustration with Sudburyโ€™s city council. The group wanted to introduce an anti-KED petition at last weekโ€™s council meeting, however, members did not have time for it. According to Mayor Brian Bigger, the petition will be presented at the next meeting, but the group remains skeptical.

In efforts to prevent the development of the new event centre, the group has also decided to seek provincial help. The foursome penned a letter to the provincial Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Steve Clark, in an attempt to request a complete and full independent forensic audit of the affairs of the City of Greater Sudbury regarding KED.

Source: Keown, Mary โ€œWork on KED paused at request of Gateway Casinosโ€, The Sault Star, November 29, 2021

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Yolina has followed closely the latest development on the Canadian gaming scene over the past years, monitoring the land-based, lottery, and online offerings up for grabs. The dynamic nature of the local lottery and casino fields, as well as the opportunities lying ahead of Canada fire her enthusiasm for what is to come. A sports betting enthusiast, in her spare time Yolina could be found in her natural habitat โ€“ turning the pages of biographies and catching up on the latest stand-up comedy podcasts.