Hiawatha Slots In Sarnia To Close April 30
March 15th, 2012
It was announced this week that the Hiawatha Slots in Sarnia will be closing as of April 30. One hundred and forty employees will lose their job, and more than likely the adjacent racetrack won’t survive which will have a huge effect on the local economy. The OLG is shutting down slot machine operations at border-city racetracks in Sarnia, Windsor, and Fort Erie. It’s the first phase of a new strategy announced by the OLG to modernize Ontario’s gaming industry. Reports say that while Hiawatha Slots generated $29 million last year, it was still underperforming. At this point, according to the Sarnia Observer, no decisions have made about Point Edward Casino, which is eight kilometers away and employs 449 people. What is means for Sarnia is a loss of the 5% share the community has received, amounting to some $25 million over the years from Hiawatha Slots, and in setting this year’s budget Sarnia expected $1.5 million in gaming revenues. It is reported OLG with meet with city hall to calculate a payment for 2012 but the city will lose all gaming revenue in 2013.