Written by Susan W. Smith
posted on July 13, 2013 14:13
Editor’s Note: Thousand Islands Life is pleased to publicize this important “Save our Casino Rally”. Kevin O’Dair, Economic Development Officer for the Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands, is the spokesperson for this important initiative. The Casino is one of the most popular venues in the region and certainly plays a vital economic role.
For over a decade, Casino Thousand Islands has delivered sizable financial profits for the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG), while enjoying an exceptional relationship with its host communities, the Township of Leeds and Thousand Islands and the Town of Gananoque. Casino Thousand Islands also provides its municipalities with a combined $3.2 million in annual hosting fees. This revenue helps to fund roads, bridges, libraries, community groups, medical centres, hospital foundations and playgrounds, among many other important infrastructure projects.
However, Casino Thousand Islands’ considerable success is being threatened. As part of its Modernization Strategy, the OLG has introduced the possibility of moving the casino from the municipality where it enjoys popular support to Kingston, where 60 per cent of the residents are opposed to a casino, according to an Abacus Data poll. The Modernization Strategy dictates that there can be only one casino in the zone that includes Kingston and the current casino location.
This move would cause serious economic harm, not only to the host communities but to the province at large. Casino Thousand Islands is the second highest performing casino without a racetrack in the province, and it is the region’s second largest employer, with 400 employees.
Private casino investors have been looking at the best possible location for a casino in this gaming zone. Leeds and the Thousand Islands and Gananoque have been working hard to present the business case for retaining the casino at its current location. Part of that business case is showing to the investors that the two communities are supportive and welcoming when it comes to hosting Casino Thousand Islands.
What can we do?
The Township of Leeds and the Thousand Islands and the Town of Gananoque are once again holding a “Save Our Casino” Rally to reinforce the message to casino investors that the two municipalities are welcoming communities and support the current casino location as the logical business and community choice for Casino Thousand Islands.
About the Rally
The rally will be held on Tuesday, July 30th from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m., at the Lou Jeffries Recreational Centre in Gananoque.
Local dignitaries, including Mayor Frank Kinsella, Mayor Erika Demchuk, MPP Steve Clark and MP Gord Brown will be in attendance and will address the audience. The 1000 Islands Accommodations Partners will be speaking at the event, as well as several organizations that have received grants through municipal casino revenues.
To show community support, the event will include local entertainment, activities for children and free hotdogs and drinks, courtesy of the 1000 Islands Accommodations Partners.
There will also be a draw for a helicopter ride for two, courtesy of Kouri’s Kopters, who will also be offering rides at the rally, for a fee.
Anyone interested in assisting with the event or offering their entertainment talents can contact Kevin O’Dair at the Township office in Lansdowne.
Please come out and show your support. Bring your signs, your voice and your horns. Be heard!