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Peterborough residents against the new casino

The majority of residents in Peterborough, Ontario, disagree with the opening of a new casino currently under construction on Crawford Drive. But the forthcoming coastline casino Peterborough is expected to contribute C$3 million to the city’s budget, lawmakers claim.

The Mississippi State of Scurgog Island First Nation, seeking support for new gambling facilities in the region, has commissioned a poll to look at citizens’ opinions on plans to expand casinos in Peterborough, Ajax and Pickering. Results released this week show that 60.7% of Peterborough residents oppose the opening of a new casino on Crawford Drive in The Parkway. Only 25.1% of the people supported the opening of a new gambling house, while 14.2% said they were not sure.

Construction work on the coastline casino Peterborough began in September 2017 and is expected to finish later this year. The city council has decided to move the casino from Cavan Monaghan Township to Peterborough, and according to city staff, the new location will generate $3.2 million in city-sharing revenue per year. But cash incentives don’t seem to matter, at least for the community, according to a new poll.

A poll conducted by Daisy Consulting Group in Toronto found that 8 in 10 residents (80.9%) had never visited the current Kawarta Slots casino. Only six out of ten people said they had been there more than five times. There are significant differences in answers when considering the level of education. 92.9% of people with college degrees said they had never been to the Kawarta Slots Casino, and 74.4% of residents with college education said they had never been. 67.7% of people with high school education have never been there.

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According to the authorities, a new 30,000-square-foot casino will open by the end of this year. Once construction is completed, Ontario Lottery and gaming slot machines will be moved from slots in Kawarta Downs to new facilities. Employees of the Kawarta Slots Casino, which is about 150 people, will also be moved, and the new location will employ 150 other employees. The cost of the casino has not been announced, but according to city officials, it will total about $49 million.

In September, Mayor Darryl Bennett said the opening of a new and modern gambling facility would be good for the community. Many residents disagree with the assessment, including local activist Roy Brady, who filed for a temporary court injunction to suspend construction last year. The court did not release a date and earlier this month Brady announced she was dropping the case because construction on the building had already entered a later stage.

At the same time, nearly three-quarters (73.4%) of residents support environmental assessment as part of the casino plan, according to polls. Two-thirds of Peterborough residents also want a change in city leadership, with only 15% believing Mayor Daryl Bennett should be re-elected in the autumn vote.

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