Gaming is a popular form of entertainment in Ontario, and has been since OLG’s first casino opened in 1994. However, player demographics have changed over time. There is a clear need to become more customer-focused.
Due to their distance from population centres, some sites are inconveniently located for OLG’s customers. Moving some sites to more densely populated areas could allow OLG to broaden its customer base; build newer, enhanced sites; and increase its return to the Province.
As part of OLG’s modernization, new gaming sites could be built in Ontario. The new sites will only go to areas where there is customer interest, and with explicit municipal approval. The underserved markets of North Bay, Kenora, Collingwood/Wasaga Beach and Belleville are among those being considered for development. The strategic placement of new sites would be more convenient for customers while adding revenue for Ontario and new host municipalities.
Private Sector Involvement
Today, there are 24 gaming facilities in Ontario. Any maintenance or improvements to existing facilities are dependent on taxpayer funding. However, with expanded private sector involvement, OLG could avoid public expenditure on capital, while addressing the interest in gaming in select regions across the province. Engaging the private sector to run the day-to-day operations, and to provide capital investment (as well as some operating expenses), would allow OLG to focus on its conduct and manage role – maximizing the Province’s return and ensuring Ontario’s Responsible Gambling standards are upheld.