Gateway Not Rolling The Dice On Sault Casino

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If you were betting on Sault Ste. Marie seeing a new build and a permanent casino with Gateway Casinos taking over, think again. The Sault’s temporary casino that opened in 1999 is the permanent casino for the Sault.

Gateway announced it plans on spending $220 million to renovate six of its sites in Ontario and Sault Ste. Marie is not on the list.

Sudbury is however. Gateway plans on a $55.5 million casino project build in the Nickel City with an extra 21,600 square feet of gaming space in total with new space for food and beverage options and adding an additional 200 slot machines and twenty-one gaming tables.

Gateway Casinos signed a 20-year operating and service agreement with Ontario Lottery and Gaming in May 2017 for the Northern Ontario gaming bundle. The bundle included casino properties in Thunder Bay, Sudbury and Sault Ste. Marie. The Sault was one of the first charity casino’s opened in the Province in May 1999 at its current Bay Street location.

At the time, it was believed to be a temporary building, while plans for a major tourist attraction was also being sought after for the property known as the “Gateway Site”

The current structure was to be handed over to the city at some point for use by possible sporting leagues.

Gateway’s purchase of the OLG Northern Bundle includes approvals for such locations as Kenora and North Bay. The B.C. Base company paid just over $79 million to operate the Northern Ontario casinos.  Currently Gateway operates 26 gaming properties in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia.

The Sault Ste. Marie property consists of 61,800 square feet of space that includes a restaurant and bar along with over 400 slot machines and 11 gaming tables.  The building sits on a valuable waterfront location of almost 14 acres.

The local casino employs 120 workers and contributes quarterly payments to the city for hosting the gaming facility. Most of those proceeds were earmarked for the city’s financial portion of the Sault Area Hospital built in 2011. The casino has raised well over $29 million in non-tax gaming revenue for the city since it opened in 1999.

16 COMMENTS

  1. Since Gateway is not prepared to invest any money in the Soo operation…it may be a sign that the future of the Soo casino may be in jeopardy. There could be another large piece of real estate available.

  2. Yet this casino was built as the temporary casino years ago I watched them build the stupid thing as a kid and it was suppose to be our temporary one lmao .. shocker this city does nothing to ever advance then cry we arent a tourist city.

  3. This is so very sad and there’s no one to blame, certainly not Gateway. They’re a business, and unlike liberal gov’ts, don’t spend money foolishly. Building a temporary casino was an extremely dumb decision. Wow….has this decision backfired big time !!! Now we have a tent enclosure for the long term competing against 5-6 developed casinos in Upper Mich. and a soon to be state of the art casino in Sudbury and North Bay. Wowwww……very sad. Better decisions from leadership in SSM, maybe ???

    • Yes, they are to blame, and it’s their own dumb fault for being the mask and gun bandits that they are! You have to have triple horseshoes around your neck and a couple up your butt to win anything worth mentioning there these days. They have the machines tightened up so badly that they squeak. They took away all of the good machines that paid out once in a while and replaced them with money gobbling ones that rob you blind and rarely pay out more than a couple of bucks. It’s not worth going there at all any more.
      They should just have a donation bin in the front lobby to put in what you are going to spend for the day and turn around and go straight home to save you the frustration of playing for nothing.

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