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Wednesday March 14th, 2012

Posted at 10:02am

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Windsor Raceway (Google Streetview)

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation officially announced this morning that it is permanently closing its slot machine operations in Windsor, along with Fort Erie and Sarnia.

All three are border communities.

“While this was a difficult decision to make, it was necessary. Fewer Americans are crossing the border to play slot machines at border sites. A decade ago, border casinos returned a net profit of $800 million a year. Today, that profit is less than $100 million and falling,” said OLG President and CEO, Rod Phillips.

As a result of today’s announcement, all three slot facilities in Windsor, Fort Erie and Sarnia are temporarily closed to the public for 24 hours until Thursday morning at 9am.

“We regret the impact today’s decision will have on employees who are affected by these impending closures,” said Mr. Phillips. “We hope our customers in the Windsor, Fort Erie and Sarnia areas understand our decision to temporarily close these three locations for 24 hours so we can properly attend to and support our employees.”

OLG says that they expect to continue reasonable financial contributions to the affected municipalities until March 31, 2013, in order to assist with the transition, and that they intend to continue to make reasonable payments to the operators of these racetracks until March 31, 2013, as long as live horse racing events continue.

The Provincial Government has announced that the province-wide Slots at Racetrack program will be ending March 31, 2013. 150 full-time and 60 part-time staff will lose their jobs. The slots will close for good on April 30th of this year.

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