Brian Keenan, Chatham-Kent Real Estate

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Dealtown Casino Hotel and Retirement Village Initiative

CK Mayor asks OG to delay SWRC sale

Mayor Randy Hope has asked Infrastructure Ontario to delay the disposal of the Southwestern Regional Centre (SWRC) until at least the end of March based on "new changing circumstances." CK's economic development team is reconsidering whether to exercise the city's option to purchase the property and buildings for a single Lonnie.  This new and fresh thinking coincidently comes on the heals of the release of the Drummond Report last week and the suggestion by Ontario Finance Minister, Dwight Duncan, that he may give OLG the green light to open more casinos to generate much needed revenues to reduce the province's debt.  Fortunately for CK, the Dealtown Casino Initiative which proposes to transform the SWRC into a casino resort could be the best and fastest route for Duncan to achieve that goal.

Hartley Henderson, a gaming industry journalist, yesterday summarized the two imminent changes to our gaming industry in Canada, "Recently government officials in Canada have discussed expanding gambling as a way to raise revenue and cut down on illegal wagering. The Ontario government announced that it planned to follow other provinces and offer on-line gambling including casinos games and lotteries while federal MP Joe Comartin introduced a private members bill aimed at amending the Canadian criminal code to allow for single game sports betting. "

These and other pending changes will oil the squeaking wheels at Ontario's current major casinos in Niagara Falls, Windsor and Rama. They will also silence the objections to a major new Toronto casino and smaller rural ventures like the proposed Dealtown Casino Hotel and Retirement Village. 

The mayor may clearly have his eye on the 1900 direct jobs that the Dealtown initiative will generate and the 1400 indirect jobs in Chatham, Blenheim, Wheatley, Tilbury, Ridgetown, Wallaceburg, Dresden and surrounding areas. Who said the mayor and his council can't add (just kidding)?  For the record, the experts claim  that another 700 jobs will result from the spending power of all these Chathamites with new good paying jobs.

God Bless the mayor for his vision and his support for this initiative!  And God Help him and city council if they don't get up, stand up and fight Queens Park for the long overdue meal ticket that Chatham-Kent deserves! 

Brian Keenan 

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