Positive reception for long-awaited casino in Belleville
BELLEVILLE – The new casino in Belleville has been a long time coming say residents of the Quinte region.
Wednesday evening marked the grand opening of the Shorelines Casino Belleville located on Bell Boulevard.
Hundreds lined up to get a glimpse of the city’s newest entertainment and tourist attraction.
Belleville’s Mayor Taso Christopher and senior casino staff were on hand to help officially open the casino just shortly before 6 p.m.
Marmora resident Kathy Robinson said she couldn’t be happier to have a casino closer to home as she is used to having to travel to the casinos in Gananoque and Peterborough.
But while she said she supports people’s decision to gamble, she also noted that it was important to not get too carried away.
“You know you’re not going to win every time so you can’t expect that, but you can hope for it,” she said. “Everybody should know their limits when they come and play.”
Kim Walsh was also in line to get a taste of the new casino and said she had long been waiting for its arrival.
“We’ve been waiting a long time for this to open in Belleville,” said the Grafton resident. “It’s been coming, and coming, and coming, and it’s finally here. We’re excited.”
The casino has been a topic of controversy over the past year in regards to the kind of impact it will have on the local economy.
But Walsh said she hopes to see nothing but good things come from the casino’s presence in the community.
“Employment for the community is probably the big thing as it draws people in and brings business to the town,” she said, while adding that the casino was a great way to get people together to have fun.
Mayor Taso Christopher echoed Walsh in celebrating the casino’s creation of multiple employment opportunities for those in the Quinte region.
“Just the employment sector we’re talking about 250 plus jobs,” he said. “We’re very excited about that. They’ll have full-time employment and they’ll have seasonal employment.”
For Wallbridge Village resident Linda Lott, she too said she was glad to see a casino go up in the city.
“They’ve been saying we’re going to have a casino for so many years and it’s nice to see that it’s finally here,” she said. “It’s beautiful, it really is beautiful. It’s nice that you have windows that you can look outside which is very rare for a casino.”
In the spirit of giving back to the community, the casino also named Gleaner’s Food Bank as their partner charity of choice.
“The casino is going to help them big-time financially and they’ll be able to assist the families in need,” said Christopher.
Construction on the casino first started last year and was completed ahead of the spring 2017 schedule.
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