Almost 71% of Community Leaders who are currently living with a casino in their community would accept a casino again today according to the recent Opinions of Community Leaders Study, a powerful endorsement of the benefits that gaming brings to cities across Canada.
Commissioned and distributed by the Canadian Gaming Association (CGA), the study is the first investigation undertaken by the association of the perceptions of civic and community leaders who agreed to have casinos developed in their municipalities.
The study’s findings overwhelmingly confirm that gaming remains a vital contributor to Canadian society and that the communities that made the decision to build gaming facilities continue to profit from that choice:
- 85% of Community Leaders stated (by answering agree or strongly agree) that they believe the casino in their community is a good corporate citizen.
- 78% believe (by answering agree or strongly agree) the casino enhances the tourism appeal of the community, as well as offering a quality entertainment product (77%) and a safe environment (90%).
- 72% believe (by answering agree or strongly agree) the casino generates business for local suppliers of goods and services.
“These results are deeply gratifying,” said Bill Rutsey, CEO of the Canadian Gaming Association. “The gaming industry in Canada has evolved in the past 25 years to become an important employer and provider of meaningful economic returns to Canadians that are balanced with socially-responsible measures, and this study confirms exactly that.”
Most of the positive impacts from casino development were realized and conversely most of the anticipated negative impacts did not. Problem gambling rates in Canada are stable (at about 1% of the general population) and have not changed since the mid-to-late 1990s despite the fact that gambling opportunities have grown more plentiful.
“I encourage everyone to review the study and its findings, including the comments from Community Leaders,” said Mr. Rutsey. “No one understands the impacts of gaming better than they do.”