Niagara Gazette

Local News

March 3, 2013

Canada's gaming facilities face woes as New York considers halls

Niagara Gazette — Casino operators and local officials in Canada say business is already hurting and worry that if New York approves casinos upstate, both sides of the border could face economic struggles.

Competition, a weaker dollar and a more restrictive border since the Sept. 11 terror attacks have already cut into profits at Canadian casinos.

Profits from Canadian gambling facilities close to the U.S. border have dropped from $800 million to $100 million over the last decade.

New York is considering adding up to seven casinos off Indian land to go with those already operated by the Oneidas, Senecas and Mohawks. Western New York and Niagara Falls in particular, are seen as desirable destinations for some of the casinos.

Casino gambling turned Niagara Falls, Ont., into a tourist destination with luxury hotels, restaurants and other draws. But as more casinos went up, the dollar fell and the border got tighter, the city by the natural wonder saw its fortunes fall.

"We're getting beaten up on all sides," Jim Diodati, the mayor of Niagara Falls, Ont., told the newspaper.

The Seneca Niagara Casino on the American side has eroded Canada's advantage since it opened in 2002, using a tax-free advantage and steady profits to lure players with hotel discounts and free booze.

The Canadian loonie, which was valued at 62 cents against the dollar when the casino boom began, is now about even, meaning there's less incentive for people in the states to travel north to shop, eat, drink or gamble.

At resort casinos like the Fallsview and Casino Niagara, built in the past two decades, profits have dropped by more than $600 million. Ontario is considering shuttering Casino Niagara, and other sites, in favor of a new casino in greater Toronto.

Diodati is fighting that move on the grounds that it would jeopardize the 4,700 casino jobs in Niagara Falls and possibly the city's entire tourism economy.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kerry: No Deal Yet on 7-Day Gaza Truce Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Gaza Residents Mourn Dead Amid Airstrikes Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe Raw: Big Rig Stuck in Illinois Swamp Cumberbatch Brings 'Penguins' to Comic-Con Raw: Air Algerie Crash Site in Mali Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results