London Council has green signaled a new casino which is estimated to cost $75 million. The approval was granted despite the council raising issues concerning lack of public consultation.
The City council voted 9-4 in favor of rezoning of the new gambling establishment. The council approved the site plan provided by the Gateway Casinos and Entertainment to build a new $75 million casino at a site on Wonderland Road, north of Wharncliffe Road.
Several councilors were at odds about the site plan of the casino and some went to the extent of asking for an amendment to allow further public consultation on the site planning process.
Expressing discontent over how members were not given an opportunity to be heard Councillor Maureen Cassidy said: “This is a very big matter for the city of London and the region, including neighbouring First Nations communities. A public site plan meeting allows the public to weigh in.”
“This is a city-wide issue… a lot more than 11 properties are impacted by this,” she added.
Responding to the concerns raised by councilors Mayor Ed Holder argued: “This isn’t an issue about whether gambling should be legal in London — about 20 years ago that issue was decided. This isn’t an issue about expanding gambling — that issue was approved by the last council.”
“When you understand how business works, particularly as this process has taken longer than some might imagine… Gateway has a choice — they can go north of the 401 or they can go south. And what’s at stake? $75 million of construction with the construction jobs associated with it. That’s hundreds of jobs.”
Holder also said that the new casino would bring in $7 million a year in additional revenue to the city and would create at least 700 new casino jobs.