Mayor Bob Bratina is attempting to woo officials to build a new, state-of-the art casino in Hamilton.
Bratina is scheduled to meet with officials at the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission this month to talk about opportunities for the future. He told the Globe and Mail he’s already “put out feelers” to officials about hosting the world-class casino the OLG has pledged to build in the Greater Toronto Area.
“We need to gather information and see what the opportunities might be for our municipality,” Bratina said in an email to the Globe. “We also need to know what impact any new gaming opportunity would mean to the horse racing industry in Flamborough, which is an integral part of Hamilton’s agricultural sector.”
However, there are already signs that Bratina may be unsuccessful. OLG chair Paul Godfrey said last month the Hamilton area is not being considered for the casino, the marquee element of the OLG’s plans to modernize its operations.
And councillors are already raising concerns about the mayor’s decision to pursue a casino without their direction.
“I would hope the mayor would consult with council prior to committing to an endeavour that may not be supported by council, thereby deeming his comments worthless,” said Councillor Sam Merulla.
Bratina wouldn’t offer any additional comment or explanation to The Spectator.
“The mayor’s quotes in the Globe and Mail are accurate,” said Bratina’s chief of staff, Peggy Chapman, in an email to The Spectator on Friday. “There is nothing more to add at this time. The upcoming meeting with OLG will bring more information for council.”