The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation is now preparing to send out a request for proposal, known as an RFP, in the near future to consider as many as five operators for a central gaming venue in south Georgian Bay. The operation will consist of Casino Rama, Georgian Downs as well as a new gaming venue to be located in Wasaga Beach or Collingwood.
OLG’s Public Relations Senior Manager, Tony Bitonti, stated that the contract locally is the final request for proposal that is part of the modernization plan. Every bundle has seen a lot of interest according to Bitonti and potential operators are to speak to officials of the OLG and talk about their goal for the area. The casino experience must also be outlined as well as financial position and experience with the technical side of gaming.
According to Bitonti, operators will also be involved in the creating the contract. The contracts will be 20 to 25 years in nature and proponents of gaming will be designing the same contract. The OLG wants to be sure that they are choosing the best proponent for the bundle. The operator will also be choosing the location, be it Wasaga Beach or Collingwood. The operator will also have to talk to the municipality before building.
Deputy Mayor Brian Saunderson asked to be updated at the first of this week on the issue of the casino from his staff as the current council had yet to deal with the issue. As the idea for the casino was first presented, it was thought 300 slot machines would be included. In January of this year, Bitonti along with the Director of Municipal and Community Relations, Jake Pastore, held a meeting in Wasaga Beach presenting to councilors to discuss a gaming facility that could hold live table games with gaming such as roulette, blackjack, poker and more. Ten to fifteen of these games would be added.
It was not until discussions were had that the decision to add table games was made. Wasaga Beach is open to a casino in the area and has been since 2012. Collingwood was not on board at first but after several months, the council was on board if the gaming venue in their area was to be part of a larger destination resort and not a slot barn.
Wasaga has already chosen four sites that could potentially be used for a gaming venue. An agreement will have to be signed with the OLG by the municipality that is chosen by the operator for the casino. The area does not have to sign an agreement with the operator in case the operator of the venue should change.
5.25% of the first $65 million in revenues earned will go towards the municipality while 3% of the next $135 million earned will go towards the host area. Additional percentages of 2.5% and 0.5% will go to the municipality on the next $300 million and $500 million earned. Table games will also pay out 4% of revenues.