Rally at Queen's Park focuses on worries over Niagara's gaming future

Niagara Falls Mayor Jim Diodati is describing a rally at Queen's Park today as a success but he is very worried about the state of his city's casinos.

Diodati along with Regional Chair Alan Caslin and local MPP's hosted a rally and news conference in Toronto today to draw attention to the OLG's plans for Niagara.

Regional officials are worried that a new operator for the casino's could cuts hundreds of jobs because of the wording in the contract.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation has issued a Request for Proposals for parties interested in becoming the new operator of the two casinos in Niagara Falls.

In a release, the OLG says it will not release any details on who has been pre-qualified to bid for the job.

Gaming officials also say there will be no further communication about the RFP until the selected service provider is announced next summer.

And that's not sitting well with local politicians.

Diodati says the rally today was a great first step in raising awareness about the plan, and why Niagara is concerned.

He says he received a lot of feedback already following the rally.

Diodati and Caslin say despite being promised by the OLG that local officials would be included in the process, they have been shut out.

As well, a third party study has found the move to find a new operator may result in 14 hundred casino workers being let go.

Diodati says the wording in the contract doesn't protect jobs and it sets Niagara up to fail.

Diodati says the entire modernization plan spells trouble for Niagara calling it short-term thinking.

He says part of the plan changes gaming in the GTA by giving more casinos to the area, including a new possible casino resort near Markham/Pickering.