Two weeks later, Kawartha Downs still closed

It’s been two weeks since employees were told the casino at Kawartha Downs would re-open with 150 slots, but, the Fraserville, Ont., site remains closed.

“I believe the OLG and the provincial government are working out issues that don’t pertain to us directly,” said Orazio Valente, general manager at Kawartha Downs.  “I think they’re working to resolve the issues.  I’m thinking it could be any day that I can get the go-ahead from Great Canadian Gaming to re-open.”

Ontario Lottery and Gaming (OLG) released the following statement late Monday afternoon:

An agreement-in-principle was recently reached between OLG and Kawartha Downs for slots at the racetrack.  At that time, we provided an approximate timeline for re-opening of the slot facility.  We continue to address the requirements needed to implement the agreement-in-principle.  We will keep the public informed as we move forward, and thank the community and our local partners for their patience

A member of the food and beverage team who wanted to remain anonymous, told CHEX News they’ve been working around the clock to clean and revamp the kitchen and dining room area.

But when it comes to the casino side, not much is known as to the extent of renovations there.  All they’ve been told is it will open soon.

“From the employees’s perspective, it’s encouraging they’re continuing to get paid. From the municipality’s perspective, the sooner we get these doors open, the sooner we can get our quarterly funds from the OLG as a result of the slots,” said Scott McFadden, mayor of Cavan Monaghan Township.

On Oct. 15, staff were locked out at the casino.  They weren’t told until later that day the casino was being renovated and would re-open.  The nearby new Shorelines Casino Peterborough opened the same day with 450 slot machines, table games and two restaurants.

Kawartha Downs is leasing the casino building to Great Canadian Gaming.  That lease is up on Oct. 31.  Officials with the track are optimistic something will be worked out with the leasing at the site.

“We’re looking forward to the grand re-opening,” added McFadden.  “We expect it to be a 24/7 operation.  We’re encouraged by the possibility to get into table games, as it has been zoned for this facility.”

Approximately 40 staff members will continue to be paid as the renovations continue.


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