Sault Ste. Marie is well represented at the Global Gaming Expo this week. The major industry conference, taking place in Las Vegas from Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, brings together hundreds of gaming leaders from private and public sector organizations around the world.
The Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation is attending the expo to meet with companies interested in taking over the day-to-day operations of Ontario’s lottery and gaming business. These efforts are part of the community’s continuing campaign to promote Sault Ste. Marie as an industry leader with resident expertise, resources and facilities.
“We’re at the Global Gaming Expo to show potential future lottery and casino operators, along with others who supply the industry, that Sault Ste. Marie is the unequalled centre of lottery and gaming excellence with a skilled workforce and suppliers,” said Tom Dodds, CEO of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation. “We have a positive story to tell under the heading: Lottery and Gaming – it’s in our DNA.”
The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) has invited a number of firms to bid on taking over the day-to-day operations the province’s lottery business. However, the Crown Corporation has not yet announced who those firms are. OLG is also expected to release a request for proposal (RFP) shortly to allow companies to bid on operating the three current gaming facilities in Northern Ontario – located in Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury and Thunder Bay – and building two additional regional gaming sites in Kenora and North Bay.
The Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation is working to ensure its community remains the hub of Ontario’s lottery and gaming industry in both private and public sector. “The Ontario Government has pledged that Sault Ste. Marie will remain a head office of the OLG, but the number of jobs that involves is not clear,” said Dodds. “So we continue to press on the industry and potential private operators on the value of retaining the skills and commitment of Sault Ste. Marie, OLG staff and the many suppliers in our community.”
Meanwhile, the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation has been working with local firms to build industry relationships and recently joined with the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre to form the Digital Gaming Taskforce. Other partners in the group include the OLG, Canadian Banknote Company, The Debono Group, Pollard Banknote, BMR Brooks Marketing Resources, Algoma University and Sault College. With considerable expertise, the taskforce is jointly working to grow the lottery and gaming sector in the community.
“The industry knowledge with specialized products and services in Sault Ste. Marie should be resources that the forthcoming lottery and gaming operators will want to take advantage of,” said Dodds. “But most important, the more than 800 well-trained, dedicated current OLG employees are a unique resource that prospective private operators must appreciate as one they can’t do without if they are to succeed in Ontario.”