Emo Chamber backs VLTs, off sales

Bar patrons in Emo soon could be buying off sale liquor with their winnings from a video lottery terminal (VLT).
“We received a letter from Brain Maguire asking if the Chamber would support him with the Chamber in Kenora to bring [VLTs] into Northwestern Ontario bars and sell off sale liquor,” Emo Chamber of Commerce president Colleen Vennechenko said.
In a letter to the Chamber, Maguire, owner of the Emo Inn, wrote: “When we consider that we have to compete with hotels in the eastern part of Manitoba where the above services are available to customers, particularly tourists, the ability to draw customers to our establishments in Northwestern Ontario is more difficult.
“The hotels, bars, [and] restaurants with VLTs and beer sale outlets, needless to say, are also more profitable, and therefore able to offer superior accommodations, making it again more difficult for us to compete,” the letter continued.
Emo Chamber members agreed to Maguire’s request at a meeting last week.
“We voted to send a letter to the Kenora Chamber stating we will support them,” said Vennechenko, adding they’ll also send one to the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce (NOACC).
NOACC plans to deal with the request at its annual general meeting at the end of September in Dryden.
“Other hotel proprietors throughout Northwestern Ontario are interested in having the [provincial] government look at this,” said NOACC president Tannis Drysdale of Fort Frances.
The Ontario government recently announced it would look at its liquor laws.
The Ministry of Consumer and Business Services, which oversees Ontario’s Alcohol and Gaming Commission, has stated there’s a need for evolution in terms of liquor laws.