What is the chamber’s position and how did we arrive at it?
As the “Voice of Business” the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce advocates for business and community prosperity – an important responsibility that we don’t take lightly. When a major issue arises that could have an impact on the business community, we often create a task force to study the available information and make informed recommendations.
With initial discussions of an expanded casino in Greater Sudbury, the chamber struck a task force to examine the issue in 2013. The task force’s objective was to determine what impact the existing OLG casino has had on Greater Sudbury as well as the potential impact of an expanded casino in our community.
Over many months, we received a range of input from both supporters and opponents of casino expansion, including representatives from communities with casinos, Casino Free Sudbury, health and addictions experts, and other community stakeholders. As part of the review of the issue, the task force engaged a professional polling firm to conduct a survey of our membership and found that 58% supported an expanded casino, deciding it was a good for the local economy (with 16% undecided).
With renewed interest in the issue in 2017, we decided that it would be prudent to look into whether any new information was known about the impacts of an expanded casino. We held meetings with Casino Free Sudbury and with Gateway Casinos & Entertainment to receive updated information and conducted additional research to determine if there was any substantial new information since we last looked at the issue in 2013.
The Board determined that there was no significant new information presented in our meetings or learned in our research to merit a change in its position.
The chamber’s official position on the expanded casino remains as follows:
WHEREAS the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce is an advocate for economic development, and WHEREAS the establishment of a full casino and entertainment facility in Greater Sudbury creates opportunities for economic development within our community, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the Greater Sudbury Chamber of Commerce supports the establishment of an expanded casino as part of a broader multipurpose facility in Greater Sudbury provided that the Annual Contribution Quarterly Payment under an amended and restated Municipality Contribution Agreement (MCA) is pledged to capital projects and not as part of the General Operating Budget.”