Northland Casino’s famous location saw its last operating hours as it officially closed down operation on Friday, February 1, 2019 bringing to an end to an age of successful gambling offered on site. This has seen to an end of a chapter that began in 1996. The move was considered necessary, as it was beneficial to relocate the casino to the future Century Mile Entertainment Center.
The first day of February saw the official closing of the doors at the horse-racing track in Edmonton, Alberta, which is well endowed with rich history. Since the mid-1990s this venue has continually enjoyed the attention of millions of people interested in the activities taking place here as well as the entertainment potential it could possibly provide. When the day came to finally shut down, there were mixed feelings about the action as many people grew up with the notion that Northlands Park would always be part of the landscape.
Locals look at this day as an end to a symbolic period for the community as everyone was in one way or another involved in its operation. Scott Sinclair, the Gaming and Racing Director at Northlands, stated that even if this might be a hard time for Edmonton, it was an event that was long anticipated and people have been preparing for it. Actually, the last event held at this iconic center was in October 2018.
The casino launched its operation at the turn of the 20th century and has been holding events for the past over 100 years. After 118 years of operation, Northland Park bid farewell to live races and would only be a matter of time before the gaming location could be permanently closed. Northlands president Gordon Wilson stated that he has been keenly following the development of the site and the contribution of the market towards shaping Northlands Casino for more than two decades.
Three years ago, the management of the casino had made announcements that the location would be permanently closed in the foreseeable future as is mandated by the Vision 2020 project for development. In accordance to this plan, the area where Northlands Park & Casino stood will be used for the purpose of outdoor festivals.
Despite its closure, Northlands will continue hosting exiting events to keep the guests entertained. According to the Wilson, the organization has two events underway to ensure that its legacy lives on.
On the closing day, Alberta Gaming and Liquor Commission officials began refurbishing the center’s iGaming and slots machines, which will find a new, home in the Century Mile. The new location is expected to employ nearly 150 locals.
While the idea was considered to be a positive one in the long run, the racetrack management had to take matters in their hands and come up with a viable solution. Alberta gaming clearly stated that the casino operators were free to file their operation bids in the region as a new racetrack and casino location would be introduced in the city.
Of all the operators interested in taking part in the tender, Century Casinos emerged the winner of the area operating license. This operator oversees the management of Century Down Racetrack and Casino in Calgary. This saw the beginning of the construction of the Century Mile Racetrack and Casino in Edmonton International Airport.
The new location is projected to be completed and throw open its doors to its first guests in April 2019. The initial opening date was set for July 2018 but since then, there have been a number of changes that have taken place in preparation for its grand opening.