MARCH 14 2012 21:29h
Ontario closes 3 slot machine facilities
In a statement issued from Toronto, the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation known as OLG laid indirect blame on Canada's strengthened dollar for keeping U.S. players away, the Toronto Sun reported.
"Fewer Americans are crossing the border to play slot machines at border sites," OLG President Rod Phillips said in the statement. "A decade ago, border casinos returned a net profit of $800 million a year. Today, that profit is less than $100 million and falling."
In 2002, the Canadian dollar traded as low as 62 cents to the U.S. dollar, which brought throngs of U.S. players to the border sites in Windsor, Sarnia and Fort Erie. Over time, the two countries' dollars have become near par.
The closures will eliminate some 400 full-time jobs and 160 part-time positions, the Sun said.
OLG is the deficit-ridden province's most profitable agency and is studying opening a full casino in Toronto as part of a bid to raise revenue to $1.3 billion, the Toronto Star said.
TORONTO, March 14 (UPI) -- Three struggling border slot machine facilities will be closed, the Canadian province of Ontario's gambling regulator announced Wednesday.