Belleville’s first payment from the casino revenue tops the half million dollar mark .
Vice-President and COO of Ontario Lottery and Gaming Greg McKenzie presented the cheque for $575,749 to Mayor Christopher and council at Monday’s city council meeting.
It is for the city’s non-tax gaming revenue from the January to March 2017 quarter. It’s what the city receives for hosting an OLG gaming facility.
McKenzie told Quinte News he’s pleased with how the Shorelines Casino Belleville. is operating.
McKenzie told council, “This commitment means hundreds of jobs to the area.”
He said this revenue will be important as the city continues to improve its infrastructure and services.
“We know this will happen because we have seen it happen in other communities. And we are thrilled to see in happening in Belleville.”
Mayor Taso Christopher says “it is an amazing funding resource for infrastructure, social services and other items within the city.”
Christopher said the additional revenue will allow council to continue to make even more progress.
In a media scrum he said, “Infrastructure is the direction this council has had for the last 27 plus months and I truthfully believe we have seen the return on that investment. There has been some short term pain but the long term gain is unbelievable.”
“The casino has definitely impacted Bell Boulevard. The new hotel is up and going, some land has been sold on Bell Boulevard. So there is a lot of good news going on.”
Council and the Belleville Chamber of Commerce made a presentation to Shorelines Casino of a hand carved wood bowl made by Belleville wood carver Pete Sporring, a member of Quinte Carvers. Sporring spent almost 40 hours creating the piece.
The major amount of the casino revenue, 65%, will go toward infrastructure maintenance, the next emphasis is on economic development with 10% going to that area.
The remainder of the money will be divided among land acquisition, vehicle and equipment replacement, development infrastructure, social infrastructure and disaster mitigation and contingency, each getting 5%.
Belleville’s share increases or decreases depending on how well the casino does.