Local Community Impacts of the Charity Casinos

Document Synopsis: 

This document is the final of 11 reports documenting a study of the local social and economic impacts on four Ontario communities in which four charity casinos and one racetrack slot machine installation were opened in 1999 and 2000. The communities were the Village of Point Edward and Sarnia in Lambton County (home of the Point Edward Charity Casino and the slots at Hiawatha Horse Park), Sault Ste. Marie in Algoma County (Sault Ste. Marie Charity Casino), Brantford in Brant County (Brantford Charity Casino), and Thunder Bay (Thunder Bay Charity Casino).

Selected Key Points:
Impact on Tourism and the Hospitality Industry modest at best: For tourist and hospitality industry operators, there has been no windfall; most “visitor” casino patrons who come to gamble do not stay and do not spend significant amounts of money outside the casino. Community stakeholders do not consider that the casinos have become tourism destinations

A sizeable number of problem gamblers in each community: Across all communities, there was a stable 2.4% of the population (before and after the casino opening) who were problem gamblers; however, “probable pathological” gamblers (with a more serious problem) increased from 1.5% to 2.5% after the casino openings.

Robert G. Hann, Joan Nuffield - Robert Hann & Associates, Ltd