Disagreement over the planned Sudbury casino in Kingsway continues in the city on Sunday night with the release of a new letter from local religious leaders. The letter was signed by representatives of more than 50 religious groups opposing the gambling center planned as the so-called Kingsway Entertainment District.
Religious leaders, including Rev. Anne Jermond, Anglican Church of Canada, Diocese of Algoma, Archbishop Marcel Dammhus, Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salt Ste, Bishop Marie Buklyn, Canadian Catholic priestesses, nihilid Mohammad, Imam, Sudbury Islamic Society, and others, have all said the new casinos will cause addiction, bankruptcy, crime and family breakdown. In a joint letter released Sunday night, religious leaders also warned that the planned gambling facility would lead to depression and addiction in the “vulnerable” community located near the Kingsway venue.
In their letters, church representatives cite a 2013 report from the Wellesley Institute, which states that poor people are more likely to use a larger portion of their household income for gambling. The study, which explored the health effects of casino expansion in Ontario, also found that older people develop gambling addiction and are at higher risk of becoming pathological gamblers. The proposed casino location in The Kingsway is within a few kilometres of subsidized housing and quite close to the elderly community in the Finnish senior village, the letter notes.
In urging the city council to stop relocating Gateway casinos, religious leaders remind the public that gambling “violates ethical norms and traditions of local religious communities.” Their letter came at a critical moment. Sudbury’s planning committee will meet at public hearings on Monday and Wednesday to review zoning applications for casino projects. If the zoning application is approved, it will be the first step toward creating a new Kingsway Entertainment District that will begin with a C$100 million stadium, casino complex, and hotel part. 안전놀이터
CASINO EXPANSION WITH C$60M
The proposed casino will be developed by Gateway Casino and Entertainment on a 6.96 hectare site north of Kingsway. The Canadian gambling company plans to replace the 18-year-old slot site in Sudbury Downs with a large casino complex to be built in the upcoming Kingsway Entertainment district. It is part of a large downtown renewal that will also include a new art gallery and library, a new theater, convention and performance center.
Gateway has already announced it will invest C$60 million in casino properties. It will be home to Sudbury Downs’ existing 407 slots by OLG (Ontario Lottery and Game Company), but will expand its offering to more machines. According to official data, the slot venue was visited by 400,000 people in the 2016-2017 fiscal year. During that time, the city received $2 million in revenue generated from the venue, and $8 million was paid as wages and benefits to 141 employees in the OLG slot.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Company said it generated about $4.1 billion in economic activity last year, with $2.2 billion being used to fund hospitals and other regional priorities. While other funds went to other charities across the state, some of the money was used to treat problematic gamblers, some of the money was used to treat problematic gamblers.