Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Waterloo Region Casino - Fact

This week in the news we learned that Mike Lazaridis and Doug Fregin have created a $100 million fund development and commercialization of quantum computing.
“This combination of technology and business experience has given us a unique understanding and deep commitment that we believe will be instrumental to the success of both this fund and the ‘Quantum Valley’,” Lazaridis said.
I mention this story to further support that my view of the Waterloo Region is one of innovation  progress and world wide impact.  We have a proven track record of this and my view of our future is more of the same.  I believe that investing in casino and other gaming properties is a major step back for our region.  The success in our region will be measured by our impact on the world.

Another story this week was that the chair and CEO of the lottery corporation attended a meeting with  Premier Kathleen Wynne.  This meeting was called because the Premier wanted to ensure that all host municipalities were treated the same in the funding formula.  This is a result of the rumors that the Toronto casino location was not being treated fairly and they were being offered more money and compensation then other potential hosts.  The big problem here for me was that it appears that the OLG is willing to change whatever rules that it needs to to get into whatever market it wants.  On top of that what happens when the OLG decided to change the funding formula in the future.  Right when the Region becomes dependent on it, I don't trust the OLG.  This meeting with the Premier does not speak to a trustworthy corporation.

This is not just any corporation this is a government corporation that has revenues of 6.7 billion in 2011 according to Problem's Facts About document.  The document also states that Ontario had the highest total government operated gaming revenue in Canada.  This is a major corporation and it should strive to be trustworthy and transparent.  The other truth about this and the fact that OLG is massively expanding throughout Ontario is that the Ontario Government, regardless of the political stripes of the Premier, is very much hooked on gaming revenue.  One might even say addicted to it.

It is a scary thought to know that the success of your province is rooted in how much money it can swindle out of its own people.  Does anyone else see a problem with that?

The next steps for Woolwich, providing that the other municipalities don't get involved, is to select location and attempt to woo private operators to work out a deal to set up a casino.  The two location that they have selected are very close to other municipalities and as far away from their own council chambers as possible.  So I understand that both Kitchener and Waterloo want to figure out what is going on and get their hands on the host compensation.  I believe that both municipalities still do not want to have a casino in this region they have a right to the compensation considering both locations are only a few kilometers out of their borders.

We have a responsibility to continue to speak out against this development and help brainstorm ideas that will lead to sustainable change and future progress.

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