Peterborough Uses OLG Gaming Revenue in Most Canadian Way Imaginable

Written By Matthew Lomon on February 14, 2023
The $6.4 million Quaker Foods City Square is a climate-controlled skating rink in the winter and a splash pad in the summer built in Peterborough, Ontario with the city's share of casino revenue.

Peterborough has used some of the 2022 revenue it received for being a casino host community in the most Canadian way imaginable: by building a new outdoor skating rink.

While Ontario casinos are limited to people 19 or older, Peterborough residents of all ages will be able to enjoy the new rink and splash pad that opened on Dec. 17 2022 on Charlotte Street in the downtown core.

In 2022, Peterborough received nearly $1.6 million from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Commission. The funds are part of the Municipality Contribution Agreement that provides revenue to communities that play host to bricks-and-mortar gaming sites.

And, in the case of the eastern Ontario community, that means the Shorelines Peterborough Casino.

Rink and splash pad a $6.4 million project

Specifically, some $680,000 of the city’s OLG revenue was put towards the construction of Quaker Foods City Square. It is a $6.4-million project that features a climate-controlled skating rink in the winter. In the summer, the area will transform into a splash pad.

Peterborough mayor Jeff Leal spoke about the importance of OLG gaming revenue in a press release:

“The province shares its gaming revenues to support municipal investments in community infrastructure,” said Leal. “By investing the OLG revenue in facilities such as the refrigerated outdoor skating rink for residents to enjoy throughout the winter and family-friendly splash pads for summertime fun, the city is enhancing the quality of life and wellbeing for the community.”

Further, the sentiment shared by Leal echoes the statement made by Ontario Minister of Finance Peter Bethlenfalvy. He preached the value of OLG’s municipal-sharing deal.

“Payments through OLG’s Municipality Contribution Agreement provide host gaming communities with the support they need to fund programs and critical infrastructure to improve the lives of residents and families,” said Bethlenfalvy. “With these revenues, municipalities are able to build better communities with more opportunities to live and work.”

Ontario casino municipal revenue now shifts from pucks to plants

And, Peterborough is planning to use future gaming revenue to reinvest in the environment.

Notably, Peterborough is directing $1.8 million of the gambling proceeds accrued from OLG towards the city’s urban forest. Specifically, this year-long process will include tree planting and maintaining the health of the community’s urban forest canopy.

Also, the environmental commitment follows in the footsteps of the local university. Trent University is a world-leading environmental post-secondary institution, (ranked #3 in Canada and among the top 100 most sustainable university campuses in the world).

Further, on top of Quaker Foods City Square and the upcoming forestry initiative, OLG revenue has also supported:

  • the construction of the Canadian Canoe Museum.
  • Central Area Community Improvement Plan initiatives.
  • The expansion of the town’s trails and cycling network.

Since Shorelines Peterborough Casino opened in October 2018, the city has received nearly $8.7 million in non-tax gaming revenue from the OLG.

In sum, municipal payments for all Ontario communities that play host to gaming halls is predicted to be $151.8 million. That’s for the fiscal year 2022-23 which ends March 31.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Matthew Lomon

Matthew Lomon has been a contributor at Catena Media’s network of regional sites since July 2022. He first broke into covering the legal North American gambling industry with PlayCanada. Since then, Matthew's reporting has extended to PlayMichigan, PlayPennsylvania, and PlayIllinois. Based out of Toronto, Ontario, Matthew is an avid (bordering on fanatic) sports fan.

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