Dear Mayor and Council,
I am a business owner in the core and an east mountain resident. I work in the development, architectural and construction industry and have been advocating for urban renewal since moving to Hamilton two and a half years ago.
I am not opposed to casinos. I do not tell people how to spend their money. I do
have a problem with a casino in the downtown core.
I moved to the east mountain (Stoney Creek) from Toronto two years ago. I have found life, entertainment and the start of a very vibrant, thriving downtown in Hamilton. I support the
arts, theatre, independently owned restaurants, local stores and the local economy when I hire.
I, along with a partnership of some prominent businesses have been bringing
sustainable urban developers to Hamilton. These developers
have worked in urban cores building cities and bringing sustainable
employment to cities across Canada and the U.S. by bring people, they revitalize downtown cores. They do not support casinos in urban cores.
To spend council’s time and money on discussing locating a casino downtown contradicts everything City Hall , the Strategic Plan 2012-2015, and the City of Hamilton stands for, markets and supports: urban renewal, revitalization, a vision for being great.
Last week, I met with a gentleman who used to be Financial Controller for the Niagara
Casino Association (manages both casinos). He stated if Toronto gets a casino, 90 per cent of Niagara’s revenues are gone. He also stated since 2006, Niagara casinos have been losing substantial amounts of money year over year because Casino’s are generally a thing of the past.
This has been confirmed via resort casino revenues in the OLG annual reports 2007 to 2011.
I am surprised our City cannot see the reasons why OLG is enticing them with this offer. Casinos have been losing revenues since before the 2008 US recession. The OLG created this mess, yet they are offering a temporary solution to the city to line their pockets. If Niagara, Windsor and Orillia casinos are losing revenues, imagine what the outcome will be for Hamilton.
Please do what is right. If a casino is important, revitalize Flamborough. It will cost less and won’t displace jobs. Build hotels and restaurants to support Flamborough. Let those people keep their jobs.
Val Boucher. Stoney Creek