In a little more than a year, northerners will know which company will operate five casinos in Northern Ontario. Ontario Lottery and Gaming says only three to five contenders remain. It can`t say more because of confidentiality. The companies will next put proposals together on how they would run casinos in North Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay and Kenora. OLG will announce the winning operator early in 2017.
Meawnhile, whoever OLG picks to build casinos in the north, that company has a tricky stick-handling job in Sudbury. Residents remain upset that the province shutdown the Sudbury Downs and killed horse racing in the community. Some feel the new casino should be built at the Downs and others say the downtown is a better fit. Then there`s the group that opposes casinos outright. They claim casinos create very few jobs and gambling will take millions out of the local economy in return for very little economic activity.