It's a deal: Casino Niagara to stay open

March 19, 2012 Updated Mar 19, 2012 at 9:27 AM EDT

By WKBW News
By Business First by James Fink

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March 19, 2012 Updated Mar 19, 2012 at 9:27 AM EDT

Ending days of doubt, a leading Ontario provincial leader has assured that Casino Niagara will stay open.

Provincial Minister Kim Craitor, who is also the province's tourism minster, said Friday afternoon he has assurances from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corp. that the 15-year-old casino at the foot of the Rainbow Bridge will remain open for the duration of its long-term lease. The announcement comes as the OLGC's restructuring will see the slot machines at Fort Erie Race Track close on April 30.

"Casino Niagara is here to stay," Craitor said during a news briefing at the gaming site.

The casino along with its companion, Fallsview Casino & Resort, are considered linchpins in Niagara Falls' tourism industry. According to the OLGC, during the second quarter the two gambling venues attracted more than 4.6 million patrons and generated $295 million in revenues.

Some Ontario leaders had hinted that Casino Niagara may close as part of the OLGC's new business plan.

"This puts those thoughts to rest," Craitor said.

Casinos are credited with fueling $5.2 billion in private-sector investment in the Southern Ontario region and another $1 billion of development may move forward.

Craitor said he would like to see Casino Niagara renovated now that it's future is certain.

"It is long overdue," he said.

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