The developers in Sudbury are starting to get more than a little bit annoyed about the casino decision delays in the area, which they say are unnecessary and are wasting the time of those who have applied to get a license there. They feel as though they are being forced to play a waiting game, with the whole process taking place too quietly for the tastes of some – particularly Sudbury Downs owner Pat Maclsaac, who has suggested operating a casino at the Azilda site, even if he would have to get rid of the horse racing element to do so.
In an area where everyone can easily play casino slots online whenever they want to, decisive action is more important than ever, and that is just not something that is happening here. “We’re kind of taken aback by how little has been done,” said the Citadel Group’s Richard Diotte, one of the very few developers in Sudbury to have announced plans for their own casino complex. “We came out with our [plans] with the expectation that we would be the benchmark and they would measure everyone else’s against ours,” he added, “But so far, we’re the only ones out.”
Other land owners who are interested have so far stayed out of the public eye, waiting for the province to select the casino operator over the course of the next few months. That casino company will likely then decide whereabouts the complex will be based. “I’m hoping that the city is going to take the lead in this and say, as a community, ‘this is what we expect to get’,” says Diotte, who is of the opinion that the people of the city should take charge.
“It’s the clear that the gaming industry is growing, shall we say, off the gaming floor,” says Paul Burns of the Canadian Gaming Association, making it clear that many operators will be and should be looking to build entertainment destinations even where the markets are smaller, as this is what is needed to compete in the market as it stands for the modern audience.