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Outrage Over Councillors North Bay Casino Approval

Plans for a casino expansion project at North Bay in Ontario has caused outrage among the residents of the area. A special meeting took place last week among councillors, to vote on whether or not to approve a casino at Pinewood Park in North Bay. This is a project that looks set to be spearheaded by Gateway Casinos, and sees the Canadian casino giants look to expand their empire moving forward.

Well, it seems that there have been recent developments on this front, with the local council at North Bay voting in favour of approving a casino in the city, causing outrage among the 50,000 residents. The $31 million facility will hold more than 300 slot machines, as well as 10 table games, and create over 200 jobs in the area. However, in spite of the positives, there are those who remain staunchly opposed to the idea of the project.

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Many of the residents of the local area fear that the move will bring about negative changes to the community, and that local charities might also suffer as a result. One resident was quoted as saying, “If city council is going to represent North Bay, they have to represent everyone, not just those people who can benefit economically from something like this.”

Indeed, there seem to be a lot of concerns that the project itself, and the addition of a casino, could well lead to a rise in problem gambling. This is something that has become more of an issue for Canada in the last couple of years, and there seems to be no quick fix to deal with the problem. This has come to the forefront even more in the last few weeks as we discovered that MP Raj Grewal amassed millions in gambling debts as a result of addiction.

It seems that the appeals have not fallen on deaf ears, and councillor Mark King has filed a motion for reconsideration, meaning this is an issue that could well be discussed again. The council will vote on this issue again, and there will be hopes that there is a different outcome to the 8 to 3 result that occurred the last time.

However, on the flip side of this, there are a lot of positives that it is important for residents to consider these days. And this is no doubt what played a big role in the original vote happening. What’s more, the nearby city of Nipissing will be hoping that a second vote also results in a thumbs up, as they have agreed a revenue share from the casino, with the OLG.

It’s clear that this is a divisive issue, and there are people who will have strong opinions on both sides. This is why it is important to understand the positives and negatives of this development. Hopefully the council can vote on the issue and come to a conclusion that works for everyone and benefits the area moving forward.

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