Gambling on the Future of Cornwall Ontario by Jamie Gilcig – April 15, 2012

Gambling on the Future of Cornwall Ontario by Jamie Gilcig – April 15, 2012

CFN – With the Province of Ontario considering new locations for OPG Casinos the conversation has started again here in Cornwall.

Cornwall is in a perfect strategic location for a Casino.  Morals debate aside, if you’re going to have a Casino in any city in this region, Cornwall is a choice location.

Waterfront development will make or break this city that is searching for its soul after losing most of its industrial Mill history.   While inept politicians mumble things about Tourism while funding an all but useless tourism bureau and having just lost it’s Provincially funded tourism outlet, a Waterfront Casino outlet would definitely give people a reason to stop.

The arguments against Casino’s while valid in certain senses, really don’t stick on others as there is a Casino just over the bridge on the US side of Akwesasne.

Millions of dollars flow from Cornwall each year into the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino with no benefit to Cornwall.  As a matter of fact it’s a drain.   It’s interesting that one of the largest gaming demographic are seniors, and any visit to the Casino will testify that.  Citizens of Cornwall can’t work there as it’s stateside and even the bridge crossing fees don’t go into local coffers.

A Cornwall Casino would keep almost all of the local dollars spent in Akwesasne local.  Local people would be employed at jobs that pay greater than the local average income.

Is it rosy and wonderful?  No, but any industry has pros and cons.  I’ve heard some people wanting a Walmart Super Store in Cornwall; but the impact on local small business would be brutal.  A casino in this situation? I just don’t see any extra negatives.

A waterfront OLG casino would surely attract development as well.

The question is whether local politicians will follow the lead set by former councilor Mark A MacDonald in supporting one?   The Paris Holding Lands are ready and waiting; and if not there, there are other spots especially if you think outside of the box.

Development will come to Cornwall.  The questions will be whether it’s “Old Boy” business as usual or something progressive that puts the city’s needs first.

It’s something that every citizen in Cornwall that’s fed up with high tax rates should be considering and talking about.

Jamie Gilcig – Editor – The Cornwall Free News

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