An Economic Look At Sudbury's proposed New Central casino _

My name is Tom Fortin and I was born, raised, and educated in Sudbury. I operate an electronics manufacturing company . I care about this community and have spoken with many people about Sudbury’s proposed new casino and have found most people have little real information about the project. The goal of these ads is to increase the awareness of what economic and social impacts a centrally located casino would have on our city. Sudbury’s economy, culture and social growth has been substantial over the past few years and we as citizens have a lot to be proud of. From our new School of Medicine, The Architect School, downtown revitalization, the Elgin Greenway Project, our many festivals and our expanding industrial base, we have built a strong, vibrant and culturally diverse community . I believe a casino will have a profound negative social and economic impact on all we have accomplished together.

The following OLG Casino FACT ads were published in the Northern Life from NOV 26, 2013, through Jan 2014.

OLG Casino FACT # 1/10 :   Casinos Hurt Local Business  -Published NOV 26, 2013

The primary data for this graph was compiled from the Annual Small Business Survey conducted by Thunder Bay Ventures which is a federally funded business development institution.
The survey is sent our every year to business located in Thunder Bay with 35 employees or less.  The database of businesses is obtained from the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce.
On average, 108 surveys are returned from the 700 sent out to local businesses.
If you visit their web site ( ) you can download the individual surveys which makes for very interesting reading as there are many comments on the evolution of general business conditions in Thunder Bay, before and after the casino opened in 2000.
The preamble data was obtained through communications with Ken Boshcoff, the Mayor of Thunder Bay at the time the casino was brought to the city.
Gambling loss data was obtained from the OLG financial reports ( ) which for the year ending March 31 2012, showed gambling losses at the casino to be 50.2 Million. 
The most relevant business failure was that of the roving casino which was a private organization that hosted casino events throughout the city and returned 85% of gambling losses to many local charities. Compare that to the OLG 's " Trillium Foundation" which shared approx 2% of gambling losses in the casino with local charities.

OLG Casino FACT # 2/10 :   1 Job=4 Jobs Lost in Community  -Published NOV 28, 2013


The data for the table in this ad is extracted from the OLG Financial Report for the year ending March 31st, 2011. The report can be downloaded at : 

The revision as of Mach 31st, 2013, is due to the OLG suspending the compensation for the track holder and horse people who each has previously received 10% of gambling losses.  The track holder does  receive rent for the facilities at the downs, however it is a small fraction of the 5 Million or so they previously received.

The Trillium Foundation claimes $1.4 Million is returned to charites in Sudbury, however, they include payments made to many entities outside the City of Greater Sudbury.  When examining the Trillium Foundation data and removing the sponsorships outside of Greater Sudbury the actual number works out to 850K  +/-5K for each the last 5 years. You can view the archives of where the Trillium money is spent in reports posted here:

OLG Casino FACT # 3/10 :   Northern Ontario Casinos Do Not attract Tourists  -Published Dec 3, 2013


The largest misconception about casinos in Northern Ontario is that they will attract tourists to our community.  Both Thunder Bay and SS Marie have had casinos in their cities for over a decade and data shows that they have not succeeded in attracting any significant numbers of visitors to their respective communities.  The data for this ad is from a survey of casino patrons that shows where they are from, and why they came to the host community.  You can download the entire report HERE,  PDF 413K ). Although Sudbury may have a higher population base in surrounding communities it is obvious that a casino will only displace tourist spending in existing restaurants and attractions in our city.  The bottom line is the greatest proportion of people gambling in our casino will be from our community.  This will have a profound effect on the financial viablity of the range of homw grown restaurants and attractions we presently enjoy.

After only a glance at OLG Casino FACT #4/10you will realize that Sudbury would not be special in any way if a full casino is built in our city. In fact, if we really want to be different we should say no to any type of gambling facility in our city.

OLG Casino FACT # 4/10 :   The Americans are Coming  -Published DEC 3, 2013


Presently, the OLG Slots at Sudbury Downs is an OLG owned and operated facility.  The OLG leases the space from Sudbury Downs.  The OLG is a part of the Ontario Ministry of finannce and thus its employees are essentially governmnet employees.  As part of the casino modernization, the new casinos will be privately owned and virtually all of the bidders are large American gambling companies. 

OLG Casino FACT # 5/10 :   Gambling losses are about to increase 2-3X in Sudbury.
  -Published DEC 5, 2013


The request for proposal ( RFP) documents sent out by the OLG amke calculating where the revenue from the new casino will go quite trivial. the expected revenues are based upon the statements by the city outlining their expected revenue from the new casino.

The new central casino in Sudbury will extract from 59 to 100 Million dollars from our community EVERY year. That is enough to build a new large arena, AND a convention/arts centre, every year! Another way to look at it is that this amount of money is equivalent to a property tax increase of from 26-45% based on Sudbury’s property tax revenues of 222 Million/year.

As the targeted patrons of the casino will be from Sudbury and area, these dollars will no longer be available to be spent in existing businesses including, restaurants, festivals and cultural events, local entertainment, charities and virtually every other type of business.

OLG Casino FACT # 6/10 :   When seniors gamble, the community loses.  -Published DEC 10, 2013


The first anti-casino ad published by Tom was a two page AD  on July 18, 2013 in the Northern Life. It is shown below.
    Click here for the AD in PDF Format!