Nearly 60% of Pickering/Ajax Residents Opposed to a New or Expanded Casino Built within 5km of Their Home


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A new random telephone survey of 500 residents of Pickering and Ajax finds the percentage of respondents strongly opposed to a casino in Pickering is far greater than the number who strongly support a casino (32% strongly oppose vs. 14% strongly support).

Overall,  one in two residents (50%) are opposed to building a casino in Pickering, as it is currently proposed.  30% support the casino development while 10% of residents are unsure.  Opposition to a casino was also stronger among women (54%) and older residents (60+, 58% opposed).

“There is significant opposition to a new casino in Pickering and Ajax,” said Abacus Data CEO David Coletto.  “And that opposition intensifies when we test a casino built within five kilometers of a resident’s home.  Most residents think there are enough gaming establishments already in the region, and half are concerned about the extra costs the development would mean for policing and other social programs.”

When asked if they would support or oppose a new or expanded casino built within five kilometers of their home,  41% of respondents said they were strongly opposed with another 17% mostly opposed.

The survey also found that:

  • 51% of residents agree that a new or expanded casino would bring extra costs for community policing and other related social programs that will have to be paid for by residents of Ajax and Pickering.  41% disagreed while 8% were unsure.
  • 64% of residents agree that there are enough gaming establishments in the Ajax/Pickering/Scugog region already.   30% disagreed while 6% were unsure.

“The Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation has been proudly running the Great Blue Heron Charity Casino for nearly twenty years. It has provided much needed economic stability and employment for my people, as well as significant charitable donations to organizations in need. A new or expanded casino in the Pickering/Ajax region threatens this success and we are pleased to see that the people of this area are on our side. Politicians need to listen,” said Chief Kelly LaRocca.

As the survey was conducted during the Ontario provincial election, respondents were also asked how they would vote if the provincial election was held at the time of the survey.  The survey found that the Ontario Liberal Party had a ten-point lead over the PCs (32% vs. 22%) with the NDP and Green Party well back in third and fourth place respectively.  Overall 32% of residents said they were undecided about who they would vote for.

For more information about the survey and the results, please contact:

Chief Kelly LaRocca
The Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation
(905) 441-4836

David Coletto, PhD
Chief Executive Officer, Abacus Data
(613) 232-2806


The analysis in this report is based on telephone interviews conducted May 12 to 15, 2014, among a random sample of 500 adults 18 years of age or older living in Pickering and Ajax.  The survey was conducted by live interviewers in Toronto, Ontario.  250 interviews were conducted in Pickering and 250 interviews were conducted in Ajax.

The survey was commissioned by the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation.

The statistics of a random sample of 500 respondents are accurate to within 4.5 percentage points, plus or minus, 19 times out of 20.

For more information about the poll’s methodology or the results, please contact David Coletto, CEO at or 613-232-2806.