OLG Casino Sault Ste Marie is a small charity casino in Northern Ontario that is run by the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, or OLG. The casino was opened in 1999, and at the time was Northern Ontario’s first full time casino. The OLG Casino Sault Ste Marie is located very near the International Bridge that links Canada with the USA, near Sault Ste Marie in Michigan.
Facilities at OLG Casino Sault Ste Marie
The casino is not a huge one, it caters more for locals than drawing massive crowds like the huge casinos at Niagara and Las Vegas. The total gaming area is only 35 000 square feet and has a total of 450 slot machines and 21 table games. The slots are a varied bunch, with old favourites like three reeled fruit machines rubbing shoulders with modern 3D high definition fully animated machines. Table games are not hugely well represented, with only 6 varieties on offer including Let it Ride and Texas Hold Em.
There is one restaurant on site, called Getaway that serves an al la Carte menu catering mainly for players. The restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but is not open all night. The getaway snack bar is open 24 hours for players wanting to refuel in the middle of the night. The OLG Casino Sault Ste Marie does not have any on site entertainment venues, nor does it offer any accommodation, which makes it difficult to compete with other casinos in the area and across the river in Michigan. What it does have going for it is a lower legal drinking limit than on the other side of the border, 19 verses 21, which does attract a younger crowd.
The Bivouac Bar caters for those wanting to have a drink and socialise on Friday and Saturday nights, sometimes getting quite busy with both locals and those from across the river. Other casino amenities include complimentary non alcoholic drinks on the casino floor, free parking, currency exchange and electric scooters.
Charity at OLG Casino Sault Ste Marie
The OLG Casino Sault Ste Marie helps the surrounding community in a number of ways. The most obvious is by creating jobs and enterprise and drawing people to the area. It also supports community festivals and events through a sponsorship program. Payments to various charities and the community are made from slot and table game revenue where applicable. This money is used at the discretion of the municipality.
Structure at OLG Casino Sault Ste Marie
The current casino facility has been housed in a temporary structure since it opened its doors in 1999. The structure is a movable dome and has needed numerous repairs during its use as it was never meant to be permanent. Although the city of Sault Ste Marie in Ontario is the home of the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, there are still no long term plans to build a more permanent structure to house and casinos in the Northern Ontario city.