Ground Broken For New Casino In Chatham

Construction is officially underway for a new, $36-million casino in Chatham.

Gateway Casinos and Entertainment is building the facility on the site of the former Wheels Inn.

The new casino will replace the current Slots at Dresden Raceway and the 100 employees there will move to the new site.

The new casino will create 200 additional jobs when it opens in September 2019.

Gateway CEO Tony Santo says the new casino will be family friendly outside the gaming floor.

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Gateway Casino and Entertainment CEO Tony Santo announces groundbreaking of Cascades Casino in Chatham, July 5, 2018 (by AM800's Peter Langille)

"We design them in such a way that families can come in without going into the casino.  There's one entrance into the casino that's posted with security officers to check for minors and then on the other side is where the food and beverage facilities are"

Santo says they don't see this casino as a direct competitor to Caesars Windsor.

"We consider this more of a locals casino.  It's here for the local community.  Obviously if anybody is travelling from Windsor and wants to stop by and gamble or eat and have a good meal in Match are certainly welcome as anybody from across the border, but this is really a local entertainment place for this community"

Chatham-Kent Mayor Randy Hope is optimistic the casino will be a draw to the community.

"We actually entice people from the other areas to come in.  From the Londons from the Windsors because it's a new facility.  It's something new I mean you go to Caesars all the time and it's Caesars all the time.  But this is one hour away Whether you're from Sarnia or Windsor or London, we're one hour"

The new casino will be branded as a "Cascades" facility and will be identical to Gateway's casinos in at least two B.C. communities.

There will be over 300 slot machines and 12 table games in the new casino.

Mayor Hope is optimistic the new casino will replace the Wheels Inn resort that closed in 2009.