Special Report: Casino

Musicians, Labels, Promoters, Venue Owners Oppose Downtown Casino

A group of 137 local musicians, venue owners, recording companies and promoters have signed a letter pledging to boycott a music venue attached to the proposed downtown Hamilton casino.

By RTH Staff
Published February 07, 2013

this article has been updated

A group of 137 local musicians, venue owners, recording companies and promoters have signed a letter opposing a downtown Hamilton casino and vowing to boycott promoting or playing at an associated venue.

The letter asserts, "The current revival of our wonderful downtown is due in part to a growing number of small local businesses and a strong and vibrant arts community" and argues that a casino would "very likely hurt local, independent businesses."

The letter responds specifically to the proposal by RockHammer, a new partnership between Carmens Group, Hard Rock Group and LIUNA to bundle a downtown Hamilton casino with a hotel, a music venue and restaurant/bar. "Casinos in cities across North America have been built as self-sustaining developments that use music and other forms of entertainment to prevent people from leaving or utilizing other amenities within the surrounding area."

The letter is published on the website for Sonic Unyon records, a well-known local independent music label.

Following is the text of the letter, including the list of signatories.

February 7, 2013

To whom it may concern,

We are all local musicians, promoters, venue owners or work for a local music business. We are concerned about the impact of a downtown casino on our local music scene. At a recent public information session concerning the effect of a possible casino expansion into downtown Hamilton, city council was advised by Dr. Hannah Holmes, a professor of Economics at McMaster University that a casino would very likely hurt local, independent businesses. The current revival of our wonderful downtown is due in part to a growing number of small local businesses and a strong and vibrant arts community.

The recent proposal by the Hard Rock Group and Carmens Group Inc. for a downtown casino suggests that a live music venue will be a large component of their facility. As musicians, promoters and music venue owners we have a very real concern that a large entertainment complex, run, in part, by a large American-owned corporation, could potentially harm local, independent music venues and promoters. As local independent businesses who do not have the advantage of an exclusive partnership with a gambling monopoly, we are concerned that this development will not compete on a level playing field and harm some of the many businesses who have already invested in the downtown core.

Casinos in cities across North America have been built as self-sustaining developments that use music and other forms of entertainment to prevent people from leaving or utilizing other amenities within the surrounding area.

To be clear, we do not take issue with anyone wanting to build more and larger music venues in Hamilton, however we believe that a large corporation may not be sensitive to our city's musical history, nor care about its impacts on local arts in general. As such, we are stating that should a downtown casino be pushed through at Council without a proper city-wide referendum we would choose to neither play at it nor promote for it.

Collectively,

Michael Keire/ Threshold Recording Studio
Lee Reed
Adam Bentley/ The Rest
Terra Lightfoot
Doobie Freaks
Young Rival
Junior Boys
Sonic Unyon
Lou Molinaro/This Ain't Hollywood
Jessy Lanza
Mike Renaud
Homegrown Hamilton
Ollie/ Beautry Industries
Aaron Sakala/ Lee Reed
Cowlick
Casbah
Ace Piva
Mike Trebilcock
Drew Smith
Caribou
Pick a Piper
George Pettit/ Alexisonfire
Orphx
Max Kerman/ Arkells
John Caffery/ Kids on TV
Young Empires
Wax Mannequin
Canadian Winter
Bill Majoros/ The Foreign Films
Steven McKay/ Bruce Peninsula
Tor Lukasik-Foss
Sandeep Bhandari
James Tennant
Ken Inouye
New Hands
Catherine North Studios
Mike Simon
Haolin Munk
Illitry
Jeremy Fisher
Aaron Goldstein
Dark Mean
Kojo easy Damptey
Chore
David Dunham/DAVIDS/DivorceVideo/Don Vail
Cam Malcolm
Toledo
Secret Heights
The Kettle Black
Matt Jelly
Monster Truck
Juke Wilson
Sarah Good
Brad Germain
Sianspheric
The Caretakers
Thom Gill
Greg Santilly
San Sebastian
Jamie Smith
The Dirty Nil
Earth Wind and Choir
Magic Shadows
Annie Shaw
Social Divorce
Electroluminescent
Piranha Entertainment
Monster Fever
You, Me and the Machine
Tom Shea
Trio Arjento
Slender Loris
Crop Failure
glassEYElashes
Pucumber Sasssquash Family Band
Steve Hanson In Transit
The Safety Collective
TV Freaks
Paul Hogeterp

Additional signatories as of February 8:

Darcy Hepner
Astrid Hepner
Tom Wilson
Harlan Pepper
Turkey Rhubarb
BEARD
Chris Logan / Anxiety / Goodfellow Records
Dan Rivero – promoter
The Plain Steel Jamie Shea
OurSis Sam
Steel Gold
Roots 2Leaf Project Dave Reed
Paul Penney
Patricia Speakman
Mike Hannay / Anciients
The Steeltown Spoilers
Herd Of Elk
Other Songs Music Co.
Matt Paxton
Scott Orr
Timid The Brave
The Pre-Nods
FRANKIE & JIMMY
Spooky Astronauts Drawing Club
Shelley Woods
Sam Klass
DJ KIKIDY
Caleb Collins / Circle Takes The Square
Northern Metal Management
Joe Rico / Sacrifice
Dave Marini
Cessna
Crop Failure
Fire End Water
Horse Glue
CA Smith
Craig Argyle / The Saints are Coming
Hammer City Records
Schizophrenic Records
Greg Brisco
Kevin Bell/ Black Mountain Music
Donna Lovejoy
Kyle Bishop / Grade
Jamie Ryan Downey/ No Shoes & One Sock
Alex Zafer-Fotog
Mitch Fillion / southernsouls.ca
Jason Van Gronignen
Matt Fleming
David Montour
Mitch Bowden
Weekend Riot Club
Sexbeast
The Monarch Project (Jo Boudreau)
Motëm
Stephen Foster/ The Crawlin' Kingsnakes, Simply Saucer
Homegrown Hamilton
Spherical Productions
Blind Mule

Update: As of February 8, another 58 members of Hamilton's music community added their names to the statement.

Read about our contributors.

86 Comments

View Comments: Nested | Flat

Read Comments

[ - ]

By AnjoMan (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 12:11:13

This letter is actually a good list of new music to check out...

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Quesion (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 12:17:29

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By MattM (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 15:12:33 in reply to Comment 85964

Way to generalize a scene that you obviously know nothing about.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By come on now (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 12:18:56 in reply to Comment 85964

Lots of well paid gigs in places other than a casino.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Question (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 12:21:13 in reply to Comment 85965

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Quesion (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 12:21:53 in reply to Comment 85967

**Sorry turn down a gig...

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Guest (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 12:28:30 in reply to Comment 85968

Several JUNO winners and nominees on that list. Lots of other very successful artists. I think they're doing just fine, in terms of landing gigs and building a career.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Question (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 12:37:29 in reply to Comment 85970

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By journalist fail (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 13:24:20 in reply to Comment 85972

Oh sorry, did you want one of us to ask all 79 people that specific question for you?

If you wanna know, you ask. We'll look forward to the results of your troll poll

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Troll Poison (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 12:49:45 in reply to Comment 85972

It's a dumb trolling question, that's why it wasn't answered. Also RTFL, "we are stating that should a downtown casino be pushed through at Council without a proper city-wide referendum we would choose to neither play at it nor promote for it."

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Question (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 13:28:54 in reply to Comment 85975

Who's the troll shooting petty insults? I read it as IF IT DOES pass a proper referendum (what then)...

my bad...sorry for your armchair general anger.

like I said, good luck everyone on every side of the debate.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 12:52:36 in reply to Comment 85975

I wouldn't play at Council either. It's sucked ever since they tore out the rotating stage.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 12:19:52

Another interesting front on this invigorating conversation. And yes, my playlist just refreshed.

It's probably bound to be asked eventually in light of last year's HECFI sweepstakes, but what should we make of Copps Coliseum/Hamilton Place/Studio Theatre, now managed by Philadelphia-based Comcast subsidiary Global Spectrum in partnership with California-based Live Nation?


Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 13:38:07 in reply to Comment 85966

Re: “As musicians, promoters and music venue owners we have a very real concern that a large entertainment complex, run, in part, by a large American-owned corporation, could potentially harm local, independent music venues and promoters.”



“Global Spectrum manages public assembly venues in the United States, Canada, the Middle East, and Southeast Asia with an ever-increasing international presence.”

“Live Nation Entertainment is the world’s leading live entertainment and eCommerce company, comprised of four market leaders: Ticketmaster.com, Live Nation Concerts, Front Line Management Group and Live Nation Network.”

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 14, 2013 at 12:28:30 in reply to Comment 85991

"Live Nation is the largest concert promoter in the world. We have our own comedy touring and latin touring divisions in addition to the Live Nation branded tours we produce worldwide, which include artists like Madonna, Lady Gaga, Depeche Mode, American Idol, U2, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Rihanna and Sting to name a few. We have over a decade of experience booking casinos including Mohegan Sun, Sandia Casino and Resort, Silver Legacy Casino and Resort, to name a few."

http://www.casinovendors.com/vendor/live-nation/

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Mal (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 12:33:48 in reply to Comment 85966

From what I know of casino venues (which is admittedly not much) it seems to me that the Hard Rock Group/Carmens Group Inc proposal would compete against Hamilton Place and Copps more than anything.

Fallsview Casino: 1,500 seats
http://www.fallsviewcasinoresort.com/entertainment/listings.aspx

Casino Rama: 5,000 seats
https://www.casinorama.com/Entertainment.html

Casino WIndsor: 5,000 seats
http://www.caesarswindsor.com/casinos/casino-windsor/casino-entertainment/index.html

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 14, 2013 at 12:55:04 in reply to Comment 85971

Seconded:

"Global Spectrum says a casino would fundamentally damage business. #HamOnt"

https://twitter.com/EmmaatTheSpec/status/302112541318979585

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 14, 2013 at 12:56:28 in reply to Comment 86296

"If casino is built downtown, Global Spectrum says they'll seek "contractual relief" from the subsidy reduction they promused the city"

https://twitter.com/EmmaatTheSpec/status/302113292208459777

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Gabriel (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 19:03:41 in reply to Comment 85971

How is it not known that Carmen's/Lieberman consortium take over management of Hamilton place and the convention centre in March?

With that deal, that sold council on the promises of a hotel, of which they hope g

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Goin'Downtown (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 19:12:07 in reply to Comment 86025

Sorry to jump in before you finish your thought...but Carmen's is poised to take over the Convention Centre only. Global Spectrum/Live Nation has been approved to run Copps and Hamilton Place.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Walmart (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 12:26:25

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted February 07, 2013 at 12:43:03 in reply to Comment 85969

The evidence generally indicates that the addition of a Walmart in a local economy results in a reduction in median incomes (due to lower wages and more part-time work) and a net reduction in retail employment (due to job losses in independent retail businesses).

Another interesting data point:

[Each additional Walmart] per 100,000 residents increases average BMI by 0.24 units and the obesity rate by 2.3% points.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 12:49:34

You got that wright , its the Big Box stores and Malls the making smale biss go under

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By we luv conrad (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 16:29:14 in reply to Comment 85974

cawnrad, evriething yoo right is wright awn bruthar!

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By avoice (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 13:03:27

I think we are all missing the point on what "Walmart" is trying to say. "Walmart" is actually a reference for the casino, not for us to actually discuss Walmart's and body mass index. I think the point is that with bigger business in the core, and more people coming in and enjoying downtown........other business(es) can start to thrive with the core becoming more populated and foot traffic through the area. I think its a good point and not one that should be overlooked.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted February 07, 2013 at 13:56:40 in reply to Comment 85977

Believe me, I got the point. The comparison is fairly apt, as both Walmarts and casinos are totalistic one-stop complexes that tend to drive down overall net employment in their respective markets.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By avoice (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 14:11:32 in reply to Comment 85993

Ryan: Okay, glad you did and I am glad for your comment. I do understand what you mean about being a one stop shop. But unlike a Walmart, casino doesn't offer many services besides what a casino does..so majority of business(es) in the core wouldn't threatened by its existence other then the increased demand on wanting to go downtown ....but in the downtown core of Hamilton, employment isn't booming, so I fail to understand the correlation between your point and the driving down employment. Seems to me Hamilton downtown employment only has one way to go....and thats up

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted February 07, 2013 at 14:17:19 in reply to Comment 86000

The whole point of a casino-based entertainment complex is that people never need to leave it. The idea is that they'll eat there, gamble, watch a band or whatever, and then go home.

The evidence from urban casinos across North America is that they generally reduce the economic vitality of their surroundings.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Walmart (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 14:08:43 in reply to Comment 85993

Incorrect ...majority of the time I go to Fallsview ..I rent a hotel room ...go out for dinner ...stop for a coffee and than go to the casino ...go to bed ..wake up have breakfast and than travel back to Hamilton

yes, one stop shop ..sounds right to me

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By jonathan (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 20:14:59 in reply to Comment 85998

You're also not from Niagara Falls. Would you do the same if there were a Casino in Hamilton? Perhaps you might, but as Ryan has pointed out, multiple times, the general consensus of economics folks is that no, you would not. And with a Casino in the Falls, Brantford, and Toronto, you're drawing attendance from a mighty small area.

Personally, I'm with you--I couldn't go to a Casino, and stay in the Casino the whole time. Unfortunately (or, perhaps, fortunately), we're not the norm.

I'd like to think that putting a Casino downtown would result in an uptick in local restaurant business. Makes sense to me. But the reality is, it doesn't.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By incorrect (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 16:30:54 in reply to Comment 85998

You are one person. Your anecdote does not invalidate statistical evidence.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 17:12:55 in reply to Comment 86018

Agreed, anecdotes do not invalidate statitics ~ Statistics 101

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Walmart (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 13:07:47 in reply to Comment 85977

Amen


PS "I am happy some one got the referance"

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By GOCasino (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 13:05:51

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By jonathan (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 20:21:33 in reply to Comment 85978

Care to name the family-run business? $100 says your business is not downtown, working in the entertainment industry.

Please, justify the following statement:

"The fear of big business is rather ignorant in this day and age. "

The numbers are not with you, my friend.

Also, this:

"the traffic coming from the casino can only allow for a broader market to engage in the local establishments. "

We've cited our references...please cite yours.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 13:07:46

Very true .. but im not talking about just Walmart i meant all (big box stores) are to blame for smale business are going under

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Walmart (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 13:14:36 in reply to Comment 85979

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 13:23:11 in reply to Comment 85981

I never said other wise ... if your scared to have a Casino with all the bells and whistles it don`t matter .. if you have quality food and prises thats all you need, i eat alot on James st south and they have awasome food .. im not sure the Casino will deliver the same and i will always go to thoes .. restaurant

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Walmart (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 13:34:17 in reply to Comment 85984

The only difference now ..is due to the casino influx they will be a higher amount of people who will grab a bit before or after the casino which means those places on James St will receive more customers on the weekend as well ...it truly is a win-win for all local businesses assuming they offer something of value to consumers

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 13:50:47 in reply to Comment 85990

For sure it is a win-win for the local businesses and trust me if the locals hire part-time students or anyone when that Casino is open send then around there with flyers and stull im sure the Mercantis whould be ok with it after alll they understand dont they :)

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By conrad66 (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 13:15:30

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Jim Rudnick (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 13:24:54

Seems to me that the real "topnotch" spot for entertainment is in Vegas...as I remember seeing my fav superstars there in person....at top dollar per ticket too!

So...if casinos via their entertainment division pay the best...I'd think that everyone on that list has just "bitten off their nose to spite their face!"

However what would be of more interest to me, is that someone in a year or two should check to see if any of the signer's above HAVE played at the downtown casino....

Now that'd be what I call truthful followup, eh!

Jim Rudnick

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 13:27:13 in reply to Comment 85986

Well said Jim

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By j (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 13:57:08

there is something going on here. All these trolls sound different. Has a very bad PR company been hired to create a yes side? Are the Mercantis that desperate?

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 21:55:57 in reply to Comment 85994

Just because someone disagrees with you doesn't mean they are trolling. When will that sink in with RTH readers?

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 17:05:17 in reply to Comment 85994

Methinks someone is afraid of listening to an opposing opinion. Just because they don't agree with you doesn't make them a troll. I believe I am reading some useful opinions here in trying to help me make up my mind and to be honest, reading the likes of you calling these comments 'trolling' is insulting and makes me think perhaps the 'no' side is just wrong.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 14:32:02 in reply to Comment 85994

No pro-gaming troll, no PR flack, no fan of a downtown casino.

Just full of questions that seem pretty reasonable to me.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By j (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 15:24:19 in reply to Comment 86005

didn't mean that comment to include you

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 15:29:17 in reply to Comment 86011

No harm/no foul.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted February 07, 2013 at 14:22:00 in reply to Comment 85994

For what it's worth, at least three of the screen names appear to be the same person.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Walmart (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 14:27:01 in reply to Comment 86003

Or work in the same complex ...that why you only see one IP address ....keep checking more

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Walmart (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 14:05:39 in reply to Comment 85994

Comments with a score below -5 are hidden by default.

You can change or disable this comment score threshold by registering an RTH user account.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 14:03:14

Never met the guy and don`t care to ... but a Hard Rock entertainment sounds really nice at least i can spend some money in Hamilton insted in Toronto for a bit of fun

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Today (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 14:04:19

You don't need a casino to attract well renowned musicians, Simcoe and the Norfolk County Fair is hosting Mumford and Sons in the fall. Personally I'm not a casino person but I agree that a referendum on the issue, as polarizing at it seems to be, might be in order.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 14:20:17 in reply to Comment 85996

DSon`t need to go to Simco festival Hamilton has there own ever heard of Fistival of Friends AND MANY OTHERS gAGE pARK HAS BANDS EVERRY WEEKENDS IN THE SUMMER ohh sorry for the caps .. like i said erlier i hate my BlackBerry . lol

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Cynic (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 15:44:29 in reply to Comment 86002

Well know that you mention it I have heard of the fesitval of friends. With Lorne Liebierman working with your boys over at the convention center it will be interesting to see weather the Hamilton talent will perform at festival of friends or boycott it. Either way,I wont know i don't go to Ancaster..

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Conrad66 (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 14:09:01

Oh and if your complaning about my typo .. my BlackBerry sucks .. lol

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 21:57:58 in reply to Comment 85999

A poor carpenter blames his tools. It's not the BlackBerry's fault.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By digital diarrhea (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 16:26:34 in reply to Comment 85999

What you vomit onto the screen is nothing remotely close to "typo" territory

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Vod Kann (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 15:06:07

Quick hypothetical question (and I won't challenge anybody's answer):

-City says no to downtown casino
-Flamborough is rejected by OLG/investors or deemed to expensive to expand/service

what then?

-Is there a Confed park or Stoney Creek mountain option?

-no casino at all?

Just wondering what people's thought are

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By AnjoMan (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 18:27:43 in reply to Comment 86008

You have to remember that the city only recieves a very small percentage of the total revenues from the casino, whether the Flamborough site or a potential downtown site. In order for the city to get a $5 million kickback, the casino has to pull in $100 million.

That means that even if only 25% of casino revenue comes from local citizens, that is still $25 million that has to be spent by our taxbase for the city to get its $5 million. There is a $20 million dollar gap between what we collectively would need to gamble away at a casino and how much the city would actually benefit from.

Thats $20 million in lost economic potential. Is that a good deal? I don't think so. If our only impetus for a downtown casino is to guarentee our 5% share of OLG revenue, I say we are better off replacing that income by raising taxes.

EDIT: also, before you say that our city's poor cannot afford higher taxes, just remember that, according to [this report] (http://www.hamilton.ca/NR/rdonlyres/C7B7E1CE-8E34-49BC-AD3B-2A57DAFACC5B/0/Dec03EDRMS_n384322_v1_BOH12040_Health_and_Social_Impacts_of_Gambl.pdf) OLG gets 36% of its income from 4.6% percent of patrons who are problem gamblers. Can our problem gamblers afford a casino?

Comment edited by AnjoMan on 2013-02-07 18:30:13

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Goin'Downtown (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 16:40:04 in reply to Comment 86008

Great question. And,

  • where are the other interested bids?
  • can Global/Live Nation back out of their mgmt deal if they don't like the competition of a downtown casino venue?
  • what would the capacity of the actual performance component of the casino be?
  • where downtown would this be situated? (e.g. what would be demolished/displaced to make way for something this large)

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By GrapeApe (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 15:12:39

Has anyone proposed the size of this casino relative to the entertainment complex? Numbers I heard didn't make it sound very big.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By highwater (registered) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 15:32:21 in reply to Comment 86010

Mercantis were saying yesterday the casino would be 15 - 20% of the complex.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 15:27:46 in reply to Comment 86010

One estimate in play was 15%.

https://twitter.com/HHHamilton/status/298808171269599233

This would make it around 75,000-115,000 sq ft depending upon how big the hypothetical complex would be.

Now here's Copps Coliseum:

• Exhibition Hall: 5,202 m2 (61,000 ft2)
• Arena Surface: 2,415 m2 ( 26,000 ft2)
• Main Concourse: 2,787 m2 ( 30,000 ft2
• Gross Exhibit Space: 10,405 m2 (117,000 ft2)

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Robert D (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 17:31:25 in reply to Comment 86012

That's pretty big!

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By SCRAP (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 21:56:45

I think it is great that all these local musicians, venues, labels have come together in solidarity.

An injury to one, is an injury to all!



Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By CasiNO Art (anonymous) | Posted February 07, 2013 at 23:11:46

I never met a musician who liked playing a casino. It's a decent paycheque but the "crowds" suck. For the most part the music is ignored since the clientèle are there to gamble, not appreciate live music. If you want to hear the most uninspired performances from almost any major tour, check out the casino gigs, if they exist.
Casinos are about gambling, not art.
Great shows result from the atmosphere and crowd at a performance, not the paycheque being derived.
A casino might bring acts to town but it likely won't bring memorable art.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted February 08, 2013 at 09:39:32 in reply to Comment 86034

I find it amusing you believe a concert would take place right there on top of the craps tables? Because the times I've gone to see a show at Fallsview, I purchase a ticket 'to the show', get there, buy my wife and I dinner at another venue, get in line at the theatre at the casino, go into a theatre that resembles Hamilton Place, with no slots or tables or dealers in sight. We sit in a comfortable chair, watch the show the afterward, we may or may not head into the casino for a few hours then we go home or retire to our hotel room which is always a different hotel then the Fallsview. Great atmosphere for every show I have ever attended at Fallsview. Keeping this debate within the realms of reality is key here folks. I continue to expect more from this site because of past experiances although I must admit my high opinion is beginning to wane because of the outright assumptions being made here dressed up to look like truths.

Comment edited by RightSaidFred on 2013-02-08 10:48:48

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By crap (anonymous) | Posted February 08, 2013 at 09:50:04 in reply to Comment 86046

Sounds like a lovely night on the town. Guess what didn't need to be there fore you to enjoy your evening, a casino. Guess what the Mercanti's promised when they took over the convention centre, exactly the experience you just described (with no casino in sight).

We don't need this casino. We don't want this casino. The Mercanti's already promised to build the other stuff they want to build around this casino. There's a craps table here alright.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted February 08, 2013 at 10:07:07 in reply to Comment 86047

and as I stated, at times I was happy to have the casino to visit after the show when I felt like it. I can control my vices. I realize others cannot and that is a shame and as the other old argument states, should we ban all bars because of the evils of alcohol? get rid of our our strip joint because naked women will bring down civilization, etc, etc,...

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 08, 2013 at 07:53:49 in reply to Comment 86034

I don't doubt that these are often hold-your-nose shows, but I do wonder how many people would honestly go to a casino gig expecting "memorable art".

More often than not, they are lured in by the promise of relatively intimate performance from an artist usually found in much larger rooms.

Casino Rama (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casino_Rama#Concerts) is one example of this but it's hardly alone. The Who is playing Hard Rock Las Vegas (4,000 capacity) tonight but Copps Coliseum (19,000 capacity) two weeks from now. Sarah Brightman plays Pennsylvania's Sands Bethlehem (2,500 capacity) and Hamilton's Copps in September.



Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted February 08, 2013 at 09:58:55

The one arguement against a casino I seem to hear the most is 'Hamilton is not a tourist detination like Niagara Falls or Toronto, therefore, only Hamiltonians will be the customers thus taking away spending money going to other establishments.' My opinion, and judging by the presentation by the Mercanti group the other day is that if you build it as an attraction, better than the other similar attractions, the people will come. The Mercanti's are not just offering a casino but a possible anchor for a greater entertainment district that a city of 500,000 people currently do not have on this level. And they are putting their own money into this, they are not asking for a dime from me.

I initially joined this site because of my opposition to a greedy owner who was demanding where we spend 'my money' to build him a stadium where he wanted it or he would leave town. Now we have a true Hamiltonian who wants to invest his own money in downtown to build an entertainment complex that will also hold a casino. Flamboro will not be an option folks, it just won't. The province is exiting the horse business altogether and they will take their slots with them, either to our downtown or to some other municipality. This is how I see it anyway

Comment edited by RightSaidFred on 2013-02-08 10:54:01

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By crap (anonymous) | Posted February 08, 2013 at 10:02:37 in reply to Comment 86049

The Mercanti's already promised to do that. They didn't say anything about a casino when they were convincing council to let them run hecfi.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted February 08, 2013 at 10:12:19 in reply to Comment 86050

well, now I am really confused again - is Mercanti's HECFI deal contingent on them opening a casino complex or are we talking about two separate deals? Remember, keeping the facts straight is important on this or any other isssue.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Goin'Downtown (registered) | Posted February 08, 2013 at 11:06:13 in reply to Comment 86053

I'm also confused about this convention centre issue. Carmen's has already agreed to run the existing convention centre but are now on record as saying "Hamilton needs a new convention centre." So...they're proposing to run two? Or if they're only going to run the "new" one...what happens to the existing centre?

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By crap (anonymous) | Posted February 08, 2013 at 10:14:39 in reply to Comment 86053

They say it's not contingent. Basically what they're proposing now is everything they were already promising, plus a casino. Therefore we don't need the casino.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted February 08, 2013 at 10:20:24 in reply to Comment 86055

You mean 'you don't need a casio', right? Because, even though we've elected our officials to do this for us, I for one, would love to see a referendum on the subject because I am of the belief the majority of Hamiltonians would vote 'yes' for a downtown casino. So bring it on is what I say. Check out the poll the Spec ran yesterday, over 65% in favour.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By crap (anonymous) | Posted February 08, 2013 at 10:25:37 in reply to Comment 86057

No I mean 'we' the City of Hamilton don't need one. They don't revitalize downtowns, they prey on the poor and the addicted, they suck money out of the community. There was already a survey of Hamiltonians, a real survey, not a poll on thespec.com, and a majority of Hamiltonians were opposed - and a strong majority downtown. Council already selected Waterdown, the Mercanti's are trying to lobby council to change their minds so they can get a piece of the action. I say no thankyou.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By RightSaidFred (registered) | Posted February 08, 2013 at 10:58:45 in reply to Comment 86059

Council already 'selected Waterdown'??? Are you serious? I find it hard to believe anybody 'selected' any location since the OLG are the one's holding the cards as to where this gets built. Further, a real survey? As oposed to the imaginary one The Spec ran, right? Yeah!

Comment edited by RightSaidFred on 2013-02-08 11:05:41

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Anonymous (anonymous) | Posted February 08, 2013 at 17:14:14

I think that argument against a Casino is ridiculous. Just because there is a Casino downtown doesn't mean that I'm going to spend every chance I get to go out, at the Casino. I probably wouldn't even go unless there WAS a band that I liked playing there. For example, I haven't been to the casino's in Niagara for ages, however, when I found out that MatchBox 20 was playing there, I bought tickets.

Having local artists playing at a casino gives them the opportunity to expand their fanbase by playing for people that might not otherwise hear their music. Let's face it. Your music is going to be heard by those close to the venue inside the casino, whether they like it or not. Just go check out Fallsview to see what I mean. You can hear the music in part of the casino.

If I'm a fan of any local band, I'll go see them play wherever they happen to be playing, at the Casbah or at the Casino. If I'm not a fan, then there's a good chance that I wouldn't be seeing you play anyway. Unless, of course, you happen to be playing somewhere in public... like at a park or a Casino that I happen to be at.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By WorksDowntownEveryday (anonymous) | Posted February 08, 2013 at 17:39:46

I would definitely welcome a Casino in downtown Hamilton.

1) It would provide up to 1.200 jobs for those "low income" people living downtown to apply for.

2) I am 36 years old and live and work in Hamilton. However, when I decide to go out there is nowhere for me to go but Burlington or Toronto. So my Hamilton earned dollars get spent in someone else's city and at someone else's business. I would love to be able to put that money back into my own city. Let's face it, Hamilton doesn't have any upscale or even well maintained places for the over 30 year old group to go. Most bars are dives or border on it and Hess Village has been over-run with 19 to 25 year olds and their immature drunken fights.

3) It would be nice to have more hospitality/entertainment type places for when I want to get a second part-time weekend job. I am one of those who borders on "low-income" and once in awhile I'll work weekends at a restaurant to make extra cash for vacations, etc. It would be nice to have some options for more part time work.

4) Please don't make me pay for other people's lack of self control. I don't find that blaming gambling addiction is a good reason at all. If someone is a compulsive gambler, there are many things they can do even without a casino to satisfy that addiction. ie) scratch tickets, LottoMax/6.49, bingo, etc. Those things don't have a black list like a casino does. Friends, Family or the Gambling Addict can put themselves on that list if it concerns them that much. It's none of our business and the public is NOT responsible for what MIGHT happen to the few.

5) Why stop progress from happening. This city is not going to prosper by staying the way it is. Honestly, it is boring, dirty, downtown needs major cosmetic work, entertainment and more jobs to bring people to the core. This entertainment complex will help bring Hamiltonians to our downtown and also to bring visitors to our city. This will mean MORE money for local businesses as people who never come downtown will see what they have been missing in the surrounding businesses and experience them while they are in the core. No one will be spending every second of their time downtown in the casino. People will venture out to the surrounding bars, restaurants etc and word of mouth will spread about the other local businesses. Or is that the problem? Are all these run down places concerned that they won't be able to keep up with a new entertainment complex without putting some work and a little investment into their business. These business owners have been sitting back and letting their storefronts and interiors decline without a care because there has been no competition for so long. Maybe this will make them clean it up a little.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By DowntownInHamilton (registered) | Posted February 09, 2013 at 08:43:19 in reply to Comment 86097

I agree with most of what you say, except for a few things:

1) It would provide up to 1.200 jobs for those "low income" people living downtown to apply for.

Perhaps it isn't what you meant, but downtown is not full of 1200 "low income" people living downtown. And to build on that, if poor people do live downtown, why would it default to them working at the casino? I live downtown and am not 'low income' but live here by choice.

However, when I decide to go out there is nowhere for me to go but Burlington or Toronto.

That's also false. Head to Augusta street, it's for the 21+ crowd since Hess no longer is that. Or head to any number of our upscale restaurants, or head up to the east mountain complex, Upper James near the Linc, or the Meadowlands in Ancaster if you prefer a tamer bar scene at a big-box restaurant.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 09, 2013 at 10:58:55 in reply to Comment 86112

While it would be wrong to cast Downtown Hamilton entirely in the negative, it does have very real and significant challenges. Some of these are socioeconomic.

According to Economic Development, in 2006 there were 8,512 residents of Downtown Hamilton (Queen/Wellington/Hunter/Cannon), and almost two-thirds of Downtown residents aged 15 and over had incomes below $20,000 per year.

http://www.investinhamilton.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/DowntownProfile.pdf

There's greater detail available in SPRC's "Profile of Hamilton's Downtown Area" (January 2012):

"Poverty rates in Hamilton's downtown area are more than twice as high as for the city. More than two in five residents live in poverty. Among children under age six, the poverty rate is 57%, and more than one in three seniors is living on an income below the poverty line.... while the downtown area represents 10% of Hamilton’s population, it has 13% of the city’s female lone parents, 16% of Hamilton’s Aboriginal population, 19% of the city’s visible minority population, 20% of the city’s population with activity limitations, 23% of the city’s population of persons living on incomes below the poverty line, 26% of the city’s recent immigrants, and 32% of the city’s renters living in unaffordable housing... The poverty rates are about twice as high in the downtown compared to the city overall... The downtown area has a higher rate of residents visiting an emergency room in a given year. The difference between the downtown and the city overall is most pronounced for ER visits for psychiatric concerns, where the rate is more than three times higher in the downtown."

http://www.sprc.hamilton.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/2012-Report-Profile_of_Hamiltons_Downtown_Area_January.pdf

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.

By Mogadon Megalodon (anonymous) | Posted February 09, 2013 at 10:57:24 in reply to Comment 86112

While it would be wrong to cast Downtown Hamilton entirely in the negative, it does have very real and significant challenges. Some of these are socioeconomic.

According to Economic Development, in 2006 there were 8,512 residents of Downtown Hamilton (Queen/Wellington/Hunter/Cannon), and almost two-thirds of Downtown residents aged 15 and over had incomes below $20,000 per year.

http://www.investinhamilton.ca/wp-content/uploads/2011/08/DowntownProfile.pdf

There's greater detail available in SPRC's "Profile of Hamilton's Downtown Area" (January 2012):

"Poverty rates in Hamilton's downtown area are more than twice as high as for the city. More than two in five residents live in poverty. Among children under age six, the poverty rate is 57%, and more than one in three seniors is living on an income below the poverty line.... while the downtown area represents 10% of Hamilton’s population, it has
13% of the city’s female lone parents, 16% of Hamilton’s Aboriginal population, 19% of the city’s visible minority population, 20% of the city’s population with activity limitations, 23% of the city’s population of persons living on incomes below the poverty line, 26% of the city’s recent immigrants, and 32% of the city’s renters living in unaffordable housing...
The poverty rates are about twice as high in the downtown compared to the city overall... The downtown area has a higher rate of residents visiting an emergency room in a given year. The difference between the downtown and the city overall is most pronounced for ER visits for psychiatric concerns, where the rate is more that three dimes higher in the downtown."

http://www.sprc.hamilton.on.ca/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/2012-Report-Profile_of_Hamiltons_Downtown_Area_January.pdf

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
[ - ]

By Jack (registered) | Posted February 09, 2013 at 12:27:56

Let what I have to say here be a warning, though I myself of course have no authority over anyone. However, I say the following based on an understanding of ancient tradition that applies especially to our day, and here and now. What I have to say is the following:

Anyone who works towards this end of building a casino is nothing less of a short-sighted, evil-doer. To profit off of the suffering of individuals is nothing short of evil, and those who do so need to remember they will face their Lord and have to answer for their deeds. I advise you and myself to fear God, to be concientious of the Creator and Sustainer of us and the entire universe. Do not spread corruption on the earth. Do not make it easy for people to destroy themselves, through enabling addiction. Do not make it easy through the making of a casino for people to distract themselves from greater things, to prevent them from reaching their full potential in life.

Do not prey on people. Do not kill individuals, families, and communities by promoting this kind of so-called entertainment in which the most people suffer and only a few make 'profit'. But if only they knew, and they will soon come to know, that such 'profit' will not be of any benefit to them in front of God, but instead it will be the cause of their misery. This would be a foolish trade indeed. Please take heed before it is too late.

It is said that if it were not for the animals, God would prevent the rain from falling due to the sins of mankind. Are you and I so sure that God might not send us a storm so great as to render all of 'developments' into loss? Be mindful of the Creator and Sustainer of the earth.

May God's peace be with you.

Reply | Permalink | Context

You must be logged in to vote on this comment.
View Comments: Nested | Flat

Post a Comment

Comment Anonymously
Screen Name
What do you get if you multiply 5 and 1?
Leave This Field Blank
Comment

Recent Articles

Article Archives

Site Tools

Feeds