By Kevin Werner, News Staff
The Carmen’s Group wants to talk to city politicians about creating a “gaming facility” in Hamilton’s downtown area.
P.J. Mercanti of The Carmen’s Group, has asked the government issues committee to appear at a future meeting to share the benefits a gaming facility would have for the city. He stated that a group of Hamilton business leaders, developers and education representatives are prepared to “share the economic and social benefits” of an entertainment destination, which could include a casino, nightlife “experiences,” retail outlets, and museum attractions. This is the first time The Carmen’s Group, which will be taking over the operations of the Hamilton Convention Centre, will be discussing their plans for a possible casino for the city.
Tim McCabe, general manager of economic development and planning, said the Carmen’s Group, which includes investors, will provide “specific details” about a casino proposal.
It is expected Carmen’s officials will appear before the Feb. 6 government issues committee.
Carmen’s public declaration for a casino comes on the heels of the official launch of the group opposed to a gaming facility in the downtown. The group, NO! Downtown Hamilton Casino, organized by Dan Jelly, and Graham Crawford, stated it will provided researched-based information critical of gaming for the city.
The Carmen’s Group for the last few months has been talked about as a potential bidder to locate a casino in the city’s downtown area. Hamilton has scheduled two public meetings Jan. 16 and 17 for the public to debate the issue about whether the city should agree to become a host municipality for a gaming facility.
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission has issued request for proposals to private operators to operate a gaming facility in the 29 zones it has set up across the province. Hamilton and Burlingtonis located in one of the zones.
OLG has given Hamilton politicians until March 1 to decide whether it wants to become a host community. Councillors have already stated in a previous vote they will support a gaming facility at Flamboro Downs.