Expansion plans in works for Great Blue Heron Casino

SCUGOG—A new hotel, live entertainment and additional room for more slot machines and table games are all in the cards for the Great Blue Heron Casino.

The redevelopment and expansion plans were officially unveiled on Monday at an event hosted by the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation (MSIFN), who first opened the gaming hall in 1997.

“It’s a big day for our tiny community,” Kelly LaRocca, the MSIFN chief, said.

The draft proposal put forward includes plans for a 100-room hotel to be built on the casino lands just south of the main building, as well as a 20,000-square-foot addition to hold additional table games and slot machines. There is also potential for the current slot machines to be shuffled around in order to accommodate a 500-seat entertainment centre for live musical acts.

It’s expected that the redevelopment will be completed by the end of 2018. The casino will remain open during the construction phase, which is expected to begin early this spring.

“It’s been a very long journey to develop the Great Blue Heron and I can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” LaRocca said.

The Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation took over the conduct and management of the Great Blue Heron Casino from the Scugog Island First Nation in September 2016. Almost one year later, the OLG announced that Ontario Gaming GTA LP (OGGLP) had secured the rights to operate and manage the Great Blue Heron as part of its successful bid for the GTA Bundle, which also includes the OLG Slots at Ajax Downs and OLG Slots at Woodbine.

The OGGLP is a partnership comprised of Great Canadian Gaming Corporation and Brookfield Business Partners L.P. They have the exclusive rights to operate the gaming facilities for a minimum of 22 years.