New rules for establishing gaming sites in Ontario are now in effect, announce Lucky Nugget Casino. Ontario Regulation 81/12, Requirements for Establishing a Gaming Site came into force on 1 June 2012, following enactment by the Lieutenant Governor in Council (the Provincial Cabinet) under the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation Act, 1999.
Casino developers hoping to open online slots sites in the Ontario region must now follow a very different procedure to that set out by previous legislation, Regulation 347/00, which was repealed on the same day that new regulations came into effect. While in the past any business case for a proposed gaming site OLG was simply required to notify the Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet, any new proposals must now be approved by the Minister of Finance.
Prior to 1 June 2012, before establishing a new casino site in the region, developers were required to hold a public referendum in the municipality in which the gaming site was to be established. Under the new regulation, public referendums are no longer called for. Municipal councils will now only be required to ‘seek public input’ regarding new site developments, providing the OLG with a written description of the steps taken by the municipal council and of the input received.
Before establishing any new gaming sites in the region, the OLG must now first prepare a business plan for the proposed site, detailing the cost and the viability of the project.
This business plan will then be passed to the Minister of Finance for consideration, along with any other information requested by the Minister of Finance. It is then up to the Minister of Finance to make the final decision on future projects, whereas in the past, the OLG was only required to notify and consider the opinion of the Chair of the Management Board of Cabinet.
If a site gains approval from both the relevant municipal council and the Minister of Finance, the OLG are then required to publish a notice of the new development, either in a newspaper or on its own website. The OLG will no longer be required to make the reasons for its decision public.