Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) has recognized North Bay for a casino facility with 300 slot machines and a good number of table games too. The discussions for the facility are in the pipeline and the city politicians are taking interest for the same. A representative for the Crown agency, Mr. Tony Bitonti said that developers have also shown keen interest for casinos in such areas, including North Bay. Twenty-nine gaming zones, including Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay have been earmarked by OLG for the purpose. He said that private sector firms have been asked to apprise about their interests for running the casinos in different gaming zones. However, communities would not be compelled to allow the casinos and their approval would be a must for the operators. Referendums and council approvals could also be sought, said Mr. Bitonti.
As stated by Mr. Bitonti, a share of the casino revenue would go to the communities. As per the existing structure, municipalities receive 5% of the slot machine revenues. After OLG’s consultations with the developers, request for qualifications would be sought to ensure that the interested parties are capable enough for running the gaming facility. It would be followed by a formal request for proposal and the whole process could take another one or two years, said Mr. Bitonti.
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