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Some councillors are concerned with new rules around collecting casino revenues.
In April the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation changed the way it handed out casino revenues to municipalities, a program that has seen the city cash in more than $31 million since 2000.
While Thunder Bay will still see 5.25 per cent of the revenue from any electronic gaming at the casino, it will also pick up four per cent of table revenues, which is expected to add another $84,000 to the city's general coffers every year.
But OLG now requires that cities work with the organization to put on at least one community event every year and communicate how the money a city sees from casinos is used. Cities also have to be involved with OLG marketing and branding for the funding and comply with the organization's marketing guidelines.
That had Coun. Andrew Foulds concerned. He wondered why the city needed to advertise for the casino.
"I don't understand why the province isn't doing that," he said.
City administration said marketing could be something as small as a newspaper advertisement. Coun. Rebecca Johnson said the city shouldn't be in the business of marketing casinos. And since the revenues collected aren't earmarked for anything in particular, maybe it was time the city put that money aside for something specific.
"Just think of what we could've done with that," Johnson said of the more than $30 million already collected.
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