Casino Payments Help Address Aging Infrastructure Pressure

Last month, Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG) delivered a Q3 (October 1 to December 31, 2019) non-tax gaming revenue payment of $106,328 to the Township of Cavan Monaghan for hosting Shorelines Slots at Kawartha Downs.  The city of Peterborough received $780,031 for the same period.  The combined payments represent a 7.02% rise over the Q3 payment of $725,280 received by the township in 2018, prior to the opening of the Peterborough facility.  Because payment calculations are based on gaming revenue, this suggests that the local casino operator is experiencing higher gaming revenue from the combined facilities, but suggests that their significant investment in the Peterborough facility is generating an adequate return for its investors.

The township is managing this revenue with a long-term view.  Revenue from the operator is directed to the township’s Asset Replacement Reserves as the township prepares to address its aging infrastructure.  Since the 1960’s, higher tiers of government have transferred more than 30% of their capital assets such as roads, buildings and recreational facilities to municipalities, so local governments now control more than half of all public capital assets.  With these “gifts” come the ongoing requirement to maintain and eventually replace these assets as they age which is putting increasing pressure on municipal budgets.   With their limited revenue generating ability, municipalities are quick to apply for any federal and provincial grant opportunities to help offset these rising costs.  Can we call it guilt money?  KG



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