Ontario Lottery and Gaming has taken the next step in bringing a casino to the shores of southern Georgian Bay.

The OLG has selected Gateway Casinos & Entertainment Limited as the service provider for the Central Gaming Bundle.

This means Gateway will be responsible for the day-to-day operations of Georgian Downs and Casino Rama Resort.

“This is win-win because what Gateway is going to do is run the facilities on our behalf. OLG is still going to oversee the casinos and they're going to generate revenue for us,” says Tony Bitonti, an OLG spokesperson.

Gateway will also decide whether a casino is built in Collingwood or in Wasaga Beach. It’s not clear when the company will make a decision on the location.

“All the signals are that we should be able to move fairly quickly. We got a terrific warm welcome from the mayor in Wasaga Beach and if that's indicative of how folks are feeling in this part of the province, then I think the prospects are very good that we'll be able to make an announcement sooner rather than later,” says Robert Mitchell, a spokesperson for Gateway.

The mayors of both towns are touting the potential payoff of winning the casino jackpot.

“This would help us as we build our tourism portfolio here in Wasaga Beach and bringing it back to what it should be and that is the number one tourism destination in the province, if not the country,” says Wasaga Beach Mayor Brian Smith.

“Council, in 2013, passed a resolution that they would certainly be considering a boutique casino, and that would include a hotel, convention centre,” says Collingwood Mayor Sandra Cooper.

As part of the agreement, Gateway is required to retain employees for at least 12 months in their current position and location.

Gateway is expected to take over day-to-day operations in the summer.