Whenever there’s talk of a new casino slots parlor in town, it always raises a great debate among the community. On the supportive side, you have your gaming enthusiasts who are keen on having their own local venue, as well as opportunists who see it as a great way to increase employment and economic growth. And then you have those who adamantly oppose the plan, arguing a rise in crime, traffic, problem gambling, etc.
The situation was no different in Belleville, Ontario when plans to build the new Shorelines Casino first came up a few years ago. The project received approval in 2015, underwent construction in 2016, and held its grand opening on January 11, 2017.
While nay-sayers are still prevalent, the majority of the city is rejoicing now after the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp (OLG) delivered its Q4 casino slots payments to 24 host communities last month. Belleville’s coffers profited to the tune of approximately $576,000, based on the shared revenue plan for their new casino slots and table games.
Belleville Casino Slots Payment Arrangement
The first quarter results alone generated more than half a million in revenue for the city, proving that the casino slots at Shorelines Casino have been a phenomenal success over the first few months of operation.
Based on those figures, analyst have suggested the casino will generate approximately $40 to $50 million in total revenue on the year, delivering anywhere from $2 to $3 million to Belleville’s local tax coffers.
Aside from those cash payments, the new casino slots have brought other great benefits to the city as well. Shorelines Casino has opened up 300 local jobs, brought new vendors to the area and helped to reduce local property taxes. Shorelines has also lent a helping hand to community charity events, becoming a wholly positive fixture in the area since opening in January.
Potential Negatives On The Horizon
What we don’t know yet is how the casino is affecting local businesses. The new casino slots could be a bane for local business owners, especially if their former customers are flocking to the casino instead. However, if out-of-towners are pulling off the 401 to bask in the city’s businesses and casino, it could be a boon for them. Those statistics won’t come in until later.
There have also been some complaints from local patrons that the casino slots aren’t paying out enough. Like all OLG Slots locations, the machines are required by law to maintain a payout ratio of no less than 85%. But if visitors feel the slots are too tight, it could reduce patronage over the coming months/years, and result in lower payments to the city over time.
It’s impossible to predict where the road will lead in the future, but for the time being, Belleville is perfectly happy, having been handsomely rewarded for its decision to play host community to a new casino slots parlor in Ontario.