In a ceremony steeped in tradition, leaders of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation (MSIFN) and of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) commemorated a historic signing event today. The revenue sharing agreements, signed by leaders of both groups, finalize the Great Blue Heron Casino's (GBH) transition to a commercial casino and inclusion in the GTA Bundle for OLG's gaming modernization.
Following nearly three years of negotiations and consultations, members of the MSIFN voted unanimously to ratify the agreement with OLG this past July. This vote allowed OLG to add GBH to the GTA Gaming Bundle, which also includes OLG Slots at Woodbine and the OLG Slots at Ajax Downs.
"After hosting multiple consultation meetings with our members in Vancouver, Niagara and right here in Port Perry, MSIFN's Council is delighted to celebrate our achievements with OLG," said Chief Kelly LaRocca. "MSIFN and GBH remain open for business. We look forward to fostering many local partnerships in support of a thriving casino in collaboration with a new operator."
For nearly 20 years, GBH has played an important role in the MSIFN community and the Region of Durham. The casino is the largest employer in the region, employing almost 3,000 people directly and indirectly. Through GBH, MSIFN provides over $236 million annually in local economic benefits.
"Today's ceremony symbolizes the cooperative relationship we have with the MSIFN," said Stephen Rigby, OLG's President and CEO. "We share a focus on job creation, economic development and community building."
OLG expects to announce the successful service provider for the GTA bundle in late summer 2017.
Working with the MSIFN to reach these historic agreements demonstrates the provincial government's commitment to Ontario's First Nations communities.