In Gananoque, the Thousand Islands Casino was acquired by the Great Canadian Gaming Company, which caused the locals to fear the venue would move to another area. The new owner assured local business owners that the venue will stay after meeting to discuss plans for the casino.
CEO of Great Canadian Gaming, Rod Baker, stated that after gaining a controlling interest in the casino venue, the company was granted the exclusive rights to operate the casino for 20 years by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation. There is also a possibility for extension of this time frame and the company plans on staying in Gananoque as long as they can.
Baker, along with five additional executives of Great Canadian Gaming and two officials of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, met with local business owners during a Chamber of Commerce breakfast. 100 business owners and politicians were on hand to learn more about the future of the casino.
During the meeting, business owners commented that there was a collective sigh of relief as the group announced the venue would remain in Gananoque and not moved to the Kingston area. A local MP, Gord Brown, had stated that the casino would thrive in the area due to low gas prices combined with the low dollar. The casino was actually created back in 2002 in Gananoque due to the location, near the United States border, and the low dollar.
The Great Canadian Gaming Company actually gained operating rights to the Thousands Islands Casino along with the Slots at Kawartha Downs in Fraserville, as part of the Ontario East Gaming Bundle. The deal also includes a new casino to be constructed in Belleville. The cost to operate the venues was set at C$50.4 million.
The company had stated they planned on spending C$13 million to renovate the Thousand Islands property with the plans for the expansion revealed. Yet, the company has now decided to switch gears and focus on the Belleville venue’s construction and will be spending over C$40 million on the project. The company would most likely then begin to revamp Thousand Islands as well as the Slots at Kawartha Downs.