Niagara Falls has long been a prime tourist attraction in Ontario and with two prominent casinos that not only service visitors from across the border by residents from other parts of Ontario and the rest of Canada. According to 2011 OLG statistics, 42% of Niagara’s casino revenues come the Greater Toronto (GTA) and Greater Hamilton areas combined. Another study pegs the GTA at 53% of Niagara’s overall gaming revenue. It is easy to see why the city would be apprehensive at having new casinos opening up in those markets.
Newer and more modern casinos with better overall facilities expanded beyond gaming to include entertainment complexes can appeal to a wider clientele and the older casinos argue that it is not a fair fight.
Casinos in Canada have also been known to have very poor player loyalty programs, especially when compared to Vegas casinos and casinos on native reserves. To make matters worse, the governor of New York announced the possibility of adding casinos in Western N.Y. including in Niagara Falls on the U.S. side where there is already the Seneca Casino which offers free beverages and free vouchers, something we don’t see on the Canadian side.
The government needs to seriously evaluate the actual need for the casino expansion and accept that there will be rivalry among their casinos, many of which are run by different private management companies. The same goes in other provinces in Canada where different municipalities are fighting to have the casino investments made in their towns instead neighbouring towns.