City invited to be a participant in the bid to hold the 2030 Commonwealth Games in Burlington

By Pepper Parr

December 10th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This is a multi part story.  The first part is about what the Hamilton Commonwealth Games Bid Committee is setting out to do and the part they think Burlington can play .

The second part is about what they are planning on putting together in terms of both a site location and how other stakeholders will be involved.

The third part is the discussion that took place with members of Council and the Bid Committee.

All three parts are very enlightening.  Commonwealth Games are not Olympic Games but they aren’t all that much different.  This is a big deal

 

Get ready to hear a lot about the Commonwealth Games – there are plans in the works to have them take place in Hamilton in 2030 which will mark the 100th anniversary of the games – which first took place in Hamilton in 1930

City Manager Tim Commisso met informally with the group preparing the bid.

At the December 9th Standing Committee  there was a delegation from Hamilton 2030 Commonwealth Games Bid committee which city manager Tim Commisso introduced and set up why they were talking to Council.

Commisso provided a bit of a context and a more in depth look at an opportunity and that is potential participation in the Commonwealth Games bid which would actually be centered in Burlington on the Paletta King Road property that fronts on Highway 401.

Louis Frapporti  is the chair of the committee that Commisso and senior staff have had some informal discussions adding that at this point “we want to bring it forward to council to formalize a direction with respect to looking at this further by the end of March 2022 which is a relatively short turnaround.”

The team that is driving the Hamilton bid for the 2030 Commonwealth Games

Frapporti then took Council  through a detailed presentation during which the small lead group was introduced.  It was at this point that the public learned that Paul Paletta had been made President of Penta Properties and that the Penta holdings on King Road would be the local site of the Games.

Palleta, now the President of Penta Properties spoke at length about their role in the initiative.

The King Road site was once the focus of an initiative to build a stadium for the Hamilton Tiger Cats.  That idea didn’t go very far – Burlington City Council did a quick scan of what it would cost and moved away from the idea real quick.  Link to that story set out below.

Antonio Gomez -Palacio CEO of Dialogue design took part in the presentation. He was engaged by the Commonwealth Games bid effort to act as the lead design curator around concept planning for infrastructure for the games. Antonio was also engaged by Penta in relation to the planning around the King Road. site.

The Hamilton Commonwealth Games Bid Committee (HCGBC) has been working on bringing back the games to Ontario for over three years.  The Commonwealth Games authority in Canada and the CGF in the UK, have selected and approved our community bid in relation to 2030 for international submission.

The process began years ago with 16 Canadian communities showing an interest; that was whittled down to the Hamilton bid that is now a regional bid which includes a number of municipalities.

The stakeholder group that is advancing the bid isn’t just a municipal stakeholder group; It is comprised of a variety of different types of stakeholders, including two First Nations, the Mississauga as of the Credit and Six Nations in Brampton as well as a significant array of educational institutions, Not for Profit groups, charities, private sector leaders and others who feel that this these games with their focus on social impact would be a fitting way of marking the centenary of the return of the games to Ontario  and leaving a lasting legacy for the region.

The Hamilton Bid Committee is heading into the final stages of the creation of an international submission and was before Council to explain its relevance to the city of Burlington.  They are working with a number of regional municipalities including the province of Ontario and the federal government to finalize this process.

“The uniqueness of this bid, said Frapporti  “is an attempt at really redesigning multi sport events to make them more relevant to their communities generally and to avoid some of the challenges and concerns regarding costs, and to accelerate their impact in the region so that the citizens of Burlington and all of the adjoining regions that are part of the games bid catchment area can enjoy the benefit of its impacts immediately.

“That’s going to be done in this case by an unusual and very innovative effort to combine private sector partners into the creation and the funding of the games bid upfront, which is an innovation that we have been working to bring to the games. “

“First of all, we’re not proposing, and this is very unique in the history of games in Canada, that any municipality be obligated to provide any funding for any aspect of games infrastructure. One of the innovative elements in our effort is that private sector partners are invited and incented to work with the partner municipalities around delivery of assets that can be used by the games at private sector expense. What we’d like to do, and this is a commitment we’ve made with every municipality, and as a function of our discussions with the province and federal government is to actually use the games to advance your municipal priorities.

The site has a lot going for it – access to the site by GO services. Interestingly the Bid Committee has yet to have a conversation with Metrolinx.

“We’ve had the opportunity to review your strategic planning priorities and over the course of the next few months, if we’re fortunate enough to work with you in Penta properties around the King Road site, we would look to be very deliberate in our approach to using this opportunity to address a variety of your current strategic priorities. And notably, and this again is the real innovation in efforts around bids, is to bring P3 or private sector partners into these opportunities from a development perspective, so that development opportunities can get activated immediately inspired by the games, but not dependent upon the award of the games.

“One of the things that we would have you understand in the uniqueness of the Commonwealth Games beyond their having been born in Canada in 1930, is that their value and mission statement is the beginning of  building or creating  peaceful, sustainable and prosperous communities.

“When I got into this effort, I began to appreciate that this wasn’t primarily about a sporting event. It was about a vision and a set of values that the Commonwealth Games and Commonwealth nations propound that we want to integrate in every aspect of the work that we’re doing. It’s, traditionally, at a very high level, the economic assessments of the games themselves as an event; please understand that this is about the event specifically, rather than the work leading up to the event, which we hope to commence with the private sector in a variety of municipalities almost immediately: Insofar as the event is concerned, the measurable impacts from the games have historically produced about one and a half billion dollars in regional GDP between 15,000 to 23,000 hours in full time equivalent jobs.

“There are and will be much in excess of 10,000 volunteers trained in a variety of disciplines for the purposes of conducting the games. The games themselves for a variety of reasons become critical magnet for attracting incremental funding. And this is important from not only senior levels of government, but the private sector. To what extent can we use the game’s opportunity with private sector partners to incent them to make commitments and investments.

“There is a timeline and critical path for the games. We’ve been at this for a number of years, the beginning of the completion of the International things is a bid and at the moment we’re working with the province and federal government and other municipalities to finalize a concept plan, which the province and federal government will then use to determine whether they wish to commence what is referred to as multi party agreement negotiations for the finalization of the bid.

“This process will take the next eight to 12 months.

Time line at this point.

“We hope to have that done by the fall of this year immediately after the 2022 Birmingham games. The announcement of the 2030 host city is expected to be made in November of 2023.

“Appreciate that the work  we’re doing, which is very novel, is intended to activate private sector development.

“The big concepts for our bid are not what you might expect –  they don’t primarily relate to sports or sporting events. In our case consistent with the CGS priority and focus on building prosperous, sustainable and healthy communities. We are using the UN 17 Sustainable Development Goals as our design rubric.

“As Antonio will explain, are working with Dialogue and the Conference Board of Canada to integrate specific initiatives centered on sustainability and wellness as the focus of our efforts in designing the bid and we hope to activate these sustainability priorities.

“As part of all of the private sector development projects that will be part of the game’s footprint.

“As a result of two years of work looking to redesign the approach to games we came up with a number of core concepts that are important for you to understand. First of all, we acknowledge the concern by many internationally that games are overly reliant on government funding. And so we worked very hard to create a structure that prioritize private sector funding for infrastructure in relation to the games further, we created a structure which anticipates that there is no demand or expectation of prescribed municipal financial support for infrastructure. It’s not that we’re precluding municipalities from making commitments or adding value to specific initiatives that are primarily funded by the private sector.

“But we’re not mandating them as part of the bids.

“This is part of a process that we see unfolding when disability in discussions with a private sector partner work to create something in relation to a development project that would be used as a site for the games that makes sense. But there is no requirement.  Notably, in all of this work, and in the inclusion of private sector partners around specific development projects, we wanted to get away from the idea of the games as an event in time that is something that happens every four years, but to create a movement that in this case, is centered on healthy, sustainable and prosperous communities.

“And in doing that to create a framework by which all of the stakeholders including municipalities, First Nations, private sector partners, educational institutions, and so on, continue to consult and work together, not just in the completion of the bid, but in all the subsequent years from the delivery of the projects and sites and the creation of the programming related to the effort actually important to understand that this is not a single city that not only is it not a municipal baby, it’s not even a local bed.

The catchment area is wide – if the Games take place they will be a huge draw.

“What we have done is to expand very significantly the catchment area for the games, in consultation with the province of Ontario and federal government to make the games regional. This adds value to the games expands the impact area for the games, it differentiates the games internationally, it reduces and mitigates the risks of the game to sitting on or being primarily related to one community because we are really focused on expanding the the experience of these impacts and their measurement over time.

“Expanding the games to all of these municipalities has been the work that we’ve been engaged in over the course of the last three years, which has accelerated meaningfully recently. The question of the City of Burlington involvement will be entirely a function of your interest in the interest of private sector partners like Penta and your willingness in the next few months to come up with an approach as to what opportunities the city would like to engage in and have them included.

“So I’m going to turn it over to Antonio here to explain his role and to speak to you from his perspective.”

Part 2 will be Antionio Gomez -Palacio explaining what he will be doing and why.

City Manager Commisso said the time frame given to prepare a response was tight but he felt it could be done.

The promise.

Related news stories:

Moving the Tiger Cats to the Paletta King Road site

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Things you want to know about the Grey Cup - Oskee Wee Wee

In 1921, the Oskee Wee Wee cheer was first used at a Hamilton Tigers football game. Back then, there were two teams in Hamilton — the Tigers and the Wildcats. They merged in 1950 to become the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Three Interesting facts about the Grey Cup Trophy

It may not be the usual month that Canadians are treated to all that this tournament has to offer, but the 108th Grey Cup is just around the corner. With all of the action kicking off on 12th December, we thought that it would be a great time to reflect on the history of this Cup.

While the Grey Cup may not be quite as popular as the NFL, it is still big business in Canada. According to research by Betway Insider, the Grey Cup still stacks up well against the NFL Super Bowl and brings Canadians the same thrill that their US counterparts experience. So much so that even Burlington residents were behind getting the Grey Cup game to Hamilton in 2021. Some of the draw of the Grey Cup is down to its history and some of the interesting facts that can be attributed to it. Let’s take a look at the top three:

Fire struck the 35th Grey Cup

It was back in 1947 that the Toronto Argonauts rowing club building caught fire. It didn’t just catch fire – the building was burnt down in its entirety. Inside this building was no other than the Grey Cup and there was real concern that this could spell the end of the tournament for that year with no cup to award. Fate, however, had different ideas.

The shelf that was home to the cup had collapsed during the fire. Every trophy on that shelf had fallen to the ground and been destroyed. All except for one. By some miracle, the Grey Cup fell but found itself caught in a nail. This saved the cup from the engulfing fire.

The Grey Cup sees more points being scored than the Super Bowl

What makes a game exciting and the ultimate in entertainment is the number of points that are scored. The more points the bigger the thrill and the more intense a game becomes. When you compare the Grey Cup to the NFL Super Bowl, the way in which points are awarded is almost the same. There is, however, a difference.

The CFL provides a wider field, extra receiver, and unlimited movement before the snap. The result? A fast-paced and higher-scoring game. Research from Betway Insider has shown that the last 25 Grey Cups have seen 1,312 points being scored compared to 1,201 at the Super Bowl.

The Grey Cup has been stolen three times – so far!

The RCMP keep the Grey Cup safe.

The Grey Cup is clearly an attractive trophy. So attractive that thieves have targeted it three times. The first time was back in 1967 with the cup being stolen from the Hamilton Tiger-cats. It appeared that this was more about a prank than a real ambition to keep the cup as it was found abandoned some three days later.

1969 saw the Grey Cup being stolen for the second time. This time it was taken from the Ottawa Rough Riders only to turn up in a hotel locker. The most recent occasion came in 1997 when Toronto kicker Mike Vanderjagt had it stolen from him in a bar. Fortunately, it was recovered the very next day.

 

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Gyms, Rinks, and Community Rooms for rent this holiday season

By Staff

December 1st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

City of Burlington is offering special rates for rentals of gyms, ice rinks and community rooms from now until January 2nd, 2022.

. Residents can book space for 60 or 90-minute intervals at a variety of locations across the city. This presents a great opportunity for families to be active together in a safe, controlled environment over the month of December.

Rentals can be made 48-hours or more in advance. All bookings can be done through liveandplay.burlington.ca.

  • Gym rentals are available at Tansley Woods Community Centre and Haber Community Centre for $28.90. Rental includes exclusive use of the gym and basketball nets and soccer nets. Renters must bring their own equipment.
  • Ice rink rentals are available at Appleby Ice Centre, Mainway Ice Centre and Mountainside Arena for $139.64. Rentals include exclusive use of the rink, hockey nets and skate aids. Renters must bring all other equipment.
  • Community room rentals are available at Tansley Woods Community Centre, Mountainside Community Centre and Haber Community Centre for $25. Rental includes two tables, 10 chairs. Renters must bring any other equipment they need such as crafts, fitness items or games. Sport balls or large sport equipment are not allowed in community rooms.

A steal of a deal at less than 30 bucks an hour.

All COVID-19 precautions and restrictions apply.

For more information, including booking and payments, visit burlington.ca/rentals.

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Tim Hortons free PA Day and winter break swimming and skating

By Staff

November 18th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Tim Hortons is picking up the tab for free swimming and skating on the PA Day, Nov. 26

Tim Hortons has also made a contribution to the Skate Lending Program which will be coming to the Burlington Rotary Centennial Pond when it is opened later this year.

During the PA Day there will be four hours of free swimming and four and a half hours of skating on Nov. 26

It will be a fun time – but you do have to register.

During the winter break, there will be more than 20 hours of free swimming and 74 hours of skating for residents.

For all days and activities, pre-registration is required and registration opens 25-hours in advance for residents and 2 hours for non-residents and all persons 12 years and older will require proof of vaccination and must complete the screening at burlington.ca/screening.

For more information on dates and times and to register, visit burlington.ca/dropinandplay.

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A 609 day roller coaster ride - and it isn't over yet

By Pepper Parr

November 17th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Taking a long look at the bigger picture and looking back at what the city has gone through in, as Executive Director Sheila Jones put it – a 609 day Journey – calls for a pause and the question – what’s next?

While we all seem to think that “normal” might be returning no one is set yet to bet real money on a date.

Once a month Council gets taken through a report the Emergency Coordination Group (ECG) uses to advise on what has been done, where the city is financially – tax collections are good and revenue losses as a result of the pandemic are stabilizing.

The city is still in a State of Emergency and no one is certain just when that is going to come to an end and what the process will be to get back to the normal we once knew.

A graphic was put up on the screen – this is where we have been.

Just ups and then down – city hall has managed to keep the wheels on the wagon and on balance has done a good job. The wear and tear on staff has been significant.

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Burlington Native has found the gym - hopefully the library as well

By Staff

November 2nd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Jenna Morais, second-year forward at Carleton University.

Burlington native Jenna Morais led the Carleton University Ravens to their first 2-0 start since 2010-11. The second-year forward had a goal and an assist in the Ravens’ home opener on Friday before scoring the game-winning goal on Sunday afternoon versus the University of Ottawa.

Jeremy Whalen, Assistant Manager, Digital Marketing and Communication at Carleton University in the Department of Recreation and Athletics popped us a note to tell us that Burlington native Jenna Morais led the Ravens to their first 2-0 start since 2010-11.

The second-year forward had a goal and an assist in the Ravens’ home opener on Friday before scoring the game-winning goal on Sunday afternoon versus the University of Ottawa.

Jenna Morais is a women’s hockey player.

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Grace period given for children under 12 yrs old who have not completed their vaccinations

By Staff

November 2nd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The Regional Municipality of Halton Medical Officer of Health amended Instructions that were issued on October 19th to include:a grace period of 12 weeks for children turning 12 years old, to allow a reasonable opportunity for their vaccination to be completed.

Fully vaccinated – please.

On October 19, 2021, Halton Region’s Medical Officer of Health (MOH), Dr. Hamidah Meghani, issued a letter of instructions to indoor sports and recreational fitness facilities to implement vaccination policies that require all eligible individuals to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to participate in organized sports and recreational fitness activities in these settings.

The amended letter of instructions released today adds a grace period of 12 weeks for children turning 12 years old, to allow a reasonable opportunity for their vaccination to be completed.

Halton’s MOH, Dr. Meghani, reminds all residents that while Provincial regulations have recently changed to remove capacity limits and requirements for physical distancing in facilities used for sports and recreational fitness activities, other important public health requirements remain in place. These include requiring proof of vaccination, screening, masking, contact tracing, cleaning/disinfection and safety plans to describe the measures and procedures implemented to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

Dr. Meghani also strongly encourages facilities (including facility operators and permit holders) to continue to implement physical distancing for all children 11 years and younger (who are not eligible for vaccination at this time) participating in organized sports and recreational fitness activities, or activities of any kind in which masking may be inconsistent.

To read Dr. Meghani’s amended instructions for businesses/organizations with indoor facilities used for Organized Sports and Recreational Fitness Activities or for additional public health information and guidance, please visit halton.ca/COVID19.

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Applications to run an outdoor neighbourhood ice rink available now

By Staff

November 1, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

The City is encouraging neighbours to come together to maintain outdoor community ice rinks this winter. Applications for the Neighbourhood Rink program are available now at burlington.ca/neighbourhoodrink and are due by Nov. 12, 2021.

Champions have started out on rinks like this – thousands of kids learned to skate at places like this. Create one in your community.

Groups looking to organize a neighbourhood rink will need a minimum of six people from their community to maintain the rink. Volunteers who are approved to move forward with their rink will need to agree to the terms and conditions set out in the Neighbourhood Rinks program, agree to complete training and agree to keep maintenance records of the rink and provide their own water source.

City staff will install rink boards, hoses and tarps in each requested location and provide a training manual with tips on ice maintenance. As the colder weather arrives, each neighbourhood group will flood the rinks to get them ready for a first skate and then maintain them throughout the winter.

Neighbourhood rinks are open to all community members to skate for free.

For more information, visit burlington.ca/neighbourhoodrink.

 

 

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Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area Sees Big Investment in Culture and Recreation Projects

By Matthew Major

October 31st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Recently, the government has committed to investing around $5.2 million in three culture and recreation projects in Central Ontario and the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA).

The impact of Covid stretches far beyond our health and hospitals. All areas of the local community have been affected by lockdowns, and families, businesses and communities across the country have had to make big changes to their way of lives. As a result of this disruption, the Canadian and Ontario governments are working together to support people and communities by ensuring that local infrastructure is safe and reliable. At the same time, the government is also looking ahead to see what else can be done in these unprecedented times.

Recently, Sven Spengemann, member of parliament for Mississauga—Lakeshore, announced a series of joint funding. This funding will be specifically for three culture and recreation infrastructure projects in the GTHA and Central Ontario. This announcement was made on behalf of the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities as well as Ontario’s Minister of Small Business and Red Tape Reduction. The move will see businesses receive some bonus funding for Covid support, but as Bonusfinder Canada explains, there can be restrictions to watch out for.

Who is Paying for These Projects?
The Government of Canada will be spending approximately $2.8 million on these projects under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program’s Community, Culture, and Recreation Infrastructure Stream. The Ontario government alone will also be funding more than $2.3 million to these initiatives, while beneficiaries are investing a total of more than $1.9 million in their own projects.

Under the Community, Culture, and Recreation Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, Ontario will contribute roughly $320 million over the next ten years, while Canada will invest around $407 million.

What Is the Money Being Spent On?
This announcement comes after a wave of infrastructure spending is planned for the country in the wake of the Covid pandemic. The government is hoping that with increased spending, communities will be able to return to normal much faster once restrictions have been lifted. This funding will aim to support the building of new facilities and upgrades to existing facilities. All of the projects focus on improving community infrastructure and also include recreational venues and cultural spaces such as museums, theatres and more.

Upgrades to trail infrastructure in conservation areas in Caledon, Erin, Halton Hills, and Mississauga are among the projects that have been financed. They will improve public access to local greenspaces by better connecting trails with neighbouring towns and removing barriers. Trail improvements include the repair of four pedestrian bridges, the construction of three new pedestrian bridges, the expansion of paths by 2.8 kilometres, and the repair of 3.1 kilometres of boardwalk.

The Lincoln Museum and Cultural Centre will also receive funding for the design, manufacturing, and installation of an indoor and outdoor children’s gallery, which will provide families with educational content to learn more about local history and culture. Upgrades to the Unionville Seniors Hub’s Community Centre in Markham will provide new programmes and services to meet the special requirements of seniors and their caregivers. These initiatives, once completed, will provide citizens with better access to recreation facilities for many years to come.

Spengemann had the following to say about the funding “Ensuring residents have access to quality recreation infrastructure is vital for community well-being and development. Today’s investment for three culture and recreation infrastructure projects in the GTHA and Central Ontario will provide residents with access to modern, reliable, and even more accessible recreation facilities”.

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Is the growth of the online casino market a danger for the land-based casinos in Canada?

By Joseph Peters

October 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

 

Canada features a diverse landscape in land-based casinos, ranging from small gambling halls in the midst of endless plains to skyline-defining complexes such as the Niagara Fallsview casino or the Montréal Casino.

Over the last few years, this diversity has grown with the rise of online casinos. These casinos offer players an unrivaled number of games, ease of access, and welcome bonuses. This has given rise to an explosive growth, that could lead to a combined 5-billion-dollar market by 2030. But does this growth rival the classical brick-and-mortar casinos or is the growth in gambling more than a zero-sum game?

The growth

Since the introduction of online casinos, Canada has seen a steady growth in its online casinos. The Kahnawake Mohawk Territory near Montréal was one of the first licenses for online casinos and is still a respected party among different licenses. Online casinos aren’t allowed to offer their services from Canada, but Canadians are free to play at offshore casinos.

Mohawk Territory Casino just outside Montreal

These offshore casinos have seen tremendous growth over the last few years. The COVID-19 virus undoubtedly helped, because as land-based casinos were struggling, profits for game developers such as Evolution rose by about 90% – a trend that slowed down, but still shows an impressive 51% growth over the first half of 2021.

Other reports foresee a similar growth. The Canadian sports betting industry is estimated at around 2.2 billion dollars for 2030, with the iGaming (online casinos) industry growing even more, with a projected total revenue of $2.4 billion. This means the average adult Canadian will spend $60 a year on sports betting and $75 a year on online gambling.

The benefits of online casinos mentioned above combined with the availability and the coronavirus means that more and more Canadian players are also visiting online casinos. These new players are often overwhelmed with the different options, welcome bonuses, and online-only games. A good gambling guide can help these new casino players capitalize on all the benefits of online casinos.

The threats and opportunities for local casinos

Although this growth of online gaming poses a threat to land-based casinos, it also provides opportunities. When brick-and-mortar casinos are open for business as usual, they can also incorporate online casinos to diversify their business. Nevertheless, local casinos need to step up their game to match the online casinos’ benefits.

First of all, online casinos are open and accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Even to someone living right above a brick-and-mortar casino that never closes, pulling out a smartphone to play live roulette is more convenient. To combat this, land-based casinos need to focus on offering an unforgettable experience that players can never get on screen.

Offer an unmatched in-person experience when a player visits a casino.

A second benefit for online casinos is scalability. Online casinos can ‘effortlessly’ offer thousands of games without ever running out of physical space. Although brick-and-mortar casinos don’t have that advantage, they can (and have started to) implement some of the same one-to-many games. Offering blackjack where players share the same cards and make decisions on a console gives physical casinos a similar offering. These consoles could even offer an online version of the casino – merging the brand and reliability of the brick-and-mortar casino with the flexibility of an online casino.

Finally, online casinos are able to operate on better margins for players. Online slots, for example, often have a house edge under 5% – compared to around 12% for physical slots. Although shrinking the house edge may be an obvious solution, online casinos will always have the advantage here. The solution here is to offer an unmatched in-person experience when a player visits a casino.

Bonuses for new and existing players

One of the trickiest advantages of online casinos is the welcome bonus and other bonuses for existing players. These bonuses can sometimes double a player’s first deposit, giving them twice the money to play with. Although casinos have always offered comps, they can’t match the bonuses online casinos give out.

Especially players looking for a new online casino can really get a head start using these welcome bonuses. These bonuses can consist of free spins and/or bonus money that can be used to play the games. Similar bonuses exist for existing players, too.

Playing from home

Another advantage of online casinos is a logistic one. Players can play anywhere and at any time. Using a mobile website, players can use small breaks in the day (toilet breaks, waiting for the bus) to play their favorite games. In contrast, a physical casino requires a trip to the casino, parking, going around, and going back home.

Physical casinos will always be at a disadvantage. It can only serve those players that live close enough to the casino to make the trip worthwhile. Other players will flock to their online counterparts by default.

More game options

Even when land-based casinos use online casinos as an inspiration to broaden their offering of games, it will be impossible to truly compete with online casinos. These online casinos often partner with twenty or more game developers. Not only does it give players the chance to pick their favorite roulette version, it also allows for more competition, creating bigger and better games.

One example is the introduction of roulette games with huge multipliers. A usual roulette game offers the largest win of 36x a player’s bet. Online roulette versions can skyrocket this multiplier to 500x or even higher multipliers. Although the technology may be copied, it takes the scalability of hundreds of players to truly make this work.

 

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What to Expect of Online Casino Gaming in Canada?

By Staff

October 21st, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Online casino gaming is legal and available to Canadians, but what’s it really like? While there is a growing interest in online gambling all over the world, some people are still apprehensive about signing up to a site and trying it out themselves.

That’s understandable. After all, many people are also apprehensive of giving money to any online site. However, online casinos are usually incredibly safe and can be a lot of fun. Provided that you make sure a site is licenced by a reputable gambling authority such as the UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority or the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, you can be sure the casino is safe and fair. Still, it’s a good idea to do some research before signing up to a site if you want to make sure you have a fun experience.

Quality on-line gambling sites offer an opportunity to play in a demo mode to let you get a feel for how they work.

Games
Games are one of the most important factors when it comes to playing at an online casino. They’re usually the main reason anyone signs up. There are lots of popular games available, including trending slot games in Canada and classic table games like Blackjack, Roulette and Poker. No matter what kind of games you like to play, online casinos usually have a huge collection to choose from. Before you play a game for real cash, most sites will also let you play in a demo mode. This way, you can try out a game, learn the rules and experience what it has to offer without risking your own money. It’s always recommended to play in demo mode before you make a deposit and start playing for real cash.

Bonuses
Bonuses are one of the main ways online casinos attract new players. Most sites will offer at least a welcome bonus, which is a reward available to claim when you first join a site. Bonuses come in all different shapes and sizes, from small free spin offers to big matched deposit bonuses. Before you choose a Canadian casino to play at, make sure you take a look at the promotions page to see what’s on offer. You’ll also want to make sure you read through all of the terms and conditions carefully and determine whether it’s worth it. Although some casino bonuses might look great at first, they often come with restrictions that make them difficult to use.

Risk
Whenever you play at an online casino for real money, you’re risking your own cash for the chance to win some for yourself. Although it is possible to win big sums of money, there’s always the risk you might lose a lot too. Before you start playing, you should make sure you fully understand the risk and what it means. All games at online casinos have a way of seeing how much they will theoretically payback. This is known as the Return to Player (RTP) rate, and it’s shown as a percentage, for example, 95%. The higher the number, the less risk to you, although you can still win money from low RTP games if you’re lucky. If you want to avoid losing money when playing at an online casino, you should make the most of bonuses and set a budget for how much you’re going to spend each week or month.

Playing at Canadian online casinos can be lots of fun, but you should be sure to pick the right casino first. Choosing a good online casino is important, as it will let you play the best games while being fair and safe to use. Ensure that any casino you play at is licenced and has good user reviews online.

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City of Burlington recreational facilities and vaccine status

By Staff

October 20th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City of Burlington will continue to follow the Provincial mandate and require proof of vaccination in City recreational facilities for all who are eligible for the vaccines.

City-operated services and facilities not impacted include:

  • City Hall at 426 Brant St.
  • Outdoor sports fields
  • Diamonds, parks and playgrounds
  • Burlington Transit
  • Halton Court Services

Parents can watch – but they must show their proof of vaccination papers.

To enter a City facility, visitors will need to show a piece of identification with their name and date of birth and either:

• Show their vaccine certificate with QR code (paper or electronic), or
• Show their vaccination receipt (paper or electronic)

Parents and/or guardians may enter a facility for a maximum of 15 minutes to drop off and pick-up a participant for a program, without showing proof of vaccination. Parents who are required to stay in the facility for the duration of the program must be fully vaccinated.

All current regulations around screening, masking and physical distancing will not change based vaccine status.
To download your vaccine certificate, go to ontario.ca/get-proof.

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Burlington Residents Can Now Enjoy an Interactive Exhibition on Artwork at the Royal Botanical Gardens

By Mark Maycock

October 19th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

If you weren’t yet aware, many things are going on in the area these days, and many residents are enjoying the autumn season.

Those who have been raring to go out can do so with more enjoyment if they visit the Royal Botanical Gardens – where there is an ongoing interactive exhibition on artwork.

Seeing the Invisible at Royal Botanical Gardens

The exhibition, entitled ‘Seeing the Invisible,’ is arguably the most expansive and ambitious exhibition the Gardens has to date. It features a range of contemporary and modern artwork complemented by AR or augmented reality technology.

What it is

We can’t deny the significance of this exhibition, especially since it uses AR technology, which is astounding in many ways. But what exactly is AR? AR or augmented reality is a technology that can add or augment any viewer’s perception of their environment. In most cases, the digital info is superimposed on a real-life setting, but this is fixed in a specific place. At the same time, the user or viewer moves around the environment or moves their gadget around the environment.

The exhibit itself was developed in partnership with other botanical gardens worldwide, and Seeing the Invisible was first launched on September 23 as a participating botanical garden among a total of 12 in various countries. It’s worth noting, however, that it’s the only participating botanical garden in Canada.

What you can expect

The exhibition features work from over a dozen global artists. Its theme expounds on the wonders of nature, sustainability, and the environment, delivering an exploration of connections and boundaries between nature, technology, and art.

Hendrie Gardens at the Royal Botanical Gardens – a world class location

You can engage with the exhibition once you download an app, and it fosters brilliant collaboration between audiences, institutions, and artists. It’s a great way to emphasize and showcase how art can bring people together. Once you’re in the app, you will come across 13 interactive and unique artworks, and these are all spread around the landscape of Hendrie Gardens.   You can even take photos with the larger-than-life artwork, and you can essentially walk around the exhibit and listen to an audio plugin that makes your experience even more artistic and memorable.

The exhibit is now at Hendrie Gardens, and anyone can visit it from Thursday to Sunday. Seeing the Invisible runs until the 6th of November, and it operates between the hours of 10 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon.

The details

To attend, you can pre-register and buy a ticket, and when you purchase your ticket, you will have to choose your preferred time and date. There are six slots; namely, 10 am, 11 am, 12 noon, 1 pm, 2 pm, and 3 in the afternoon.

Tickets cost $24.50 for general admission and only $21.50 for senior citizens and students/youth, with ticket prices at $16.50 for kids aged 4 to 12 and only $2 for members of the Royal Botanical Gardens.

It’s good news for those who are still spending a lot of time at home during the pandemic. But if you want to make more of your time at home, you can also play in an online casino in Canada – who knows, luck may be on your side after you’ve been inspired by the gorgeous interactive technology and the artwork you’ve just experienced.

 

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Tanlsey Woods Pool to be reopened on Wednesday

By Staff

October 19th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This is one of those clear as mud messages from city hall.

The Tansley Woods pool will be open on Wednesday.

If you use the Tansley Wood Pool you might understand.

Updated: Tansley Woods Pool Closure

The issue will be resolved by the end of today (Tuesday, Oct. 19) and regularly scheduled aquatic programming will resume for Wednesday, Oct. 20.

Due to an unplanned maintenance issue, Tansley Woods Pool will be closed effective immediately (Friday, Oct. 15, 2021) until further notice. Staff will reach out to impacted customers and renters. The facility is still open for non-aquatic programming.

Update: The issue will be resolved by the end of today (Tuesday, Oct. 19) and regularly scheduled aquatic programming will resume for Wednesday, Oct. 20.

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The Rising Gambling Scene in Ontario

By Alex Windsor

September 28th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

While the digital revolution has put many industries to the test, others like public services have thrived, such as the police who can take notes electronically when on duty. The development of new and emerging technologies has seen the success of the gambling industry skyrocket in recent years. Today, it is thought that 76% of Canadians take part in some form of gambling activity, whether that be a national lottery, visiting a casino or playing online.

Toronto – capital of Ontario – the province with interesting and exciting sports gambling locations.

In many countries across the world, gambling has traditionally been a taboo subject that has been frowned upon. As a result, many places including Canada have had restrictive gambling laws that have prevented the industry from growing. Yet, as attitudes towards gambling have become more progressive and laws have been altered to reflect this, the gambling industry is once again beginning to thrive in Canada.

Below, we’ll take a look at the thriving gambling scene in Ontario and investigate some of the best land-based and online gambling places where people can go to enjoy their favourite casino games.

Gambling law ambiguity across Canada

There are many different gambling laws and regulations in Canada. Canada’s first forms of legal gambling appeared in 1969, in which a variety of landmark casinos were developed. These casinos brought tourism and a steady economy to cities across Canada after years of gambling being illegal.

For the citizens of Ontario, online gaming complements the already thriving gambling scene.

By the early 2000s, online gambling was growing rapidly as more and more households gained access to computers. However, the law states that any casino venue operating in Canada must be licensed by the regional authorities. Since many online gambling providers were operating from another country, this meant that they weren’t bound to the laws set by the Canadian authorities.

This loophole has meant that up until today, Canadian citizens can enjoy gambling at online venues, as long as the provider is offshore. This grey area in the law means that Canada is missing out on a significant economic opportunity as they do not benefit from online gaming taxes or fees from licenses at all. However, for the citizens of Ontario, online gaming complements the already thriving gambling scene.

The best casinos in Ontario

As the most populous province in Canada, Ontario has a thriving gambling scene with some of the nation’s best Casinos. The most popular casinos include:

Shorelines Casino – Thousand Islands

The Shorelines Casino chain has three casinos located in Ontario, however it is their Thousand Islands venue located on the outskirts of Gananoque that is one of the most popular. The venue is home to over 450 slot machines and various gaming tables for visitors to enjoy.

Shorelines casino are well-known for hosting various table games from blackjack, roulette to a variety of poker games including 3-card poker and ultimate Texas Hold’em. Those who want to get in some practice online before trying their luck at the casino can try real money poker at 888 Poker. Players will get a chance to hone in on their strategy and practice their poker face before going up against the big players at Shorelines.

Casino Rama Resort

Located near Orillia, Ontario, Casino Rama Resort is known as one of the region’s best casino resorts. Guests to the resort can benefit from a fully serviced hotel, a spa and health club, and a top-class casino with over 2,200 slot machines and 6 gaming tables.

Best of all, the casino resort is just a 90-minute drive from Toronto, making it an ideal weekend getaway from the city.

Elements Casino – Brantford

Elements casino offers a great variety of popular games, including over 500 slot machines and over 55 table games with Blackjack, Texas Hold’Em Poker and Roulette amongst the offerings.

Sports betting in Ontario

On the 27th of August, single event sports betting became legalized and was officially launched across Canada. Currently, there are 71 casinos in Ontario that now offer sports betting and in addition, Ontario has now made single-game sports betting available online through the Ontario lottery and the gaming Corporation’s PROLINE website.

The gambling scene in Ontario will now be able to thrive as the industry continues to grow

While this is a monumental moment for Ontario’s gambling scene, residents of Ontario are also able to take advantage of the many offshore online casinos available to them. The move to legalize sports betting in Ontario means that several sports betting vendors in the Northern US could now be looking to expand into Ontario, offering even more variety in the region.

The future of gambling in Ontario

The recent easing of restrictions for gambling across Canada means that the gambling scene in Ontario will now be able to thrive as the industry continues to grow. These changes demonstrate the appetite for gambling across the region, in which many northern American influences are moving into the Ontario region. From sports betting vendors to US casino chains, cities like Toronto are becoming even more of a hotspot for betting shops and casinos.

However, online gambling is more popular than ever, meaning that the footfall to physical gambling venues could decrease over time – as can be seen in countries like the UK. As technologies become more affordable, many people are opting for the convenience and freedom that online gambling brings.

Overall, over the past year, there have been many positive changes across Canada that support the growth of the gambling industry. As Canadians views of gambling become more progressive, it will be interesting to see how the market develops and whether physical casinos will stand the test of time.

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Someone will call out Play Ball and those that knew Casey well will be gulping and trying to hold back the tears

By Pepper Parr

September 16th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

This was not an easy story to write.

It’s about a guy I knew quite well; watched him struggle with his cancer but never heard a word from him about any fear.

I once went door to door with Casey, Bryana, and the three kids putting flyers in mail boxes announcing the Terry Fox Run at which Team Casey people were going to be there for the first time.

And be there they were – a remarkable sense of community that supported Casey when he was with us and support his family when he isn’t.

He comes to mind frequently and I wonder how he is doing and how the kids are.  How is Bryana doing – where is life taking her?

Then I saw the notice on the Caring Bridge web site – there was going to be a baseball game for the Team Casey people – if you wanted to play all you had to do was sign up.

It is billed as the Team Casey’s Terry Fox Event – 2021

Here is how Bryana tells us about the event:

The Cosgrove family

It’s rapidly approaching that time of year again…Terry Fox Run time!  Team Casey has been participating in the Terry Fox Run event since 2011, so this will be our 10th year anniversary!  In that time, Team Casey has raised almost $65,000 for the Terry Fox Foundation in support of cancer research….and I wanted to thank EVERYONE who has participated, donated, and supported us these last several years!  Together, we have made such a difference in both raising needed funds and raising awareness (with our awesome presence we have brought to the event!) about the need for finding a cure.

This year’s event, given our continued unusual circumstances, will be a separate event from the usual run we have done in the past.  This year’s event with be a baseball game and a BBQ at Casey Cosgrove Field!  Here are the details:

Date/Time:  Sunday, September 19th at 6:00pm

Location:  Casey Cosgrove Baseball Field (the ball diamond right behind Nelson High School)

BBQ:  There will be a BBQ with hamburgers and hot dogs, drinks, and chips with all proceeds going towards the team donations

What to Do/Bring:

  • They filled each other’s lives

    If you would like to play baseball, please send me an email at teamcasey19@gmail.com by September 16th to guarantee your spot…otherwise, you may still be able to play but there will be no guarantees (but it will be very likely)

  • Bring any baseball equipment you may have if you want to play
  • One remarkable human being.

    Bring a chair to sit in while you watch if you don’t want to sit in the bleachers

  • Bring your appetite…all proceeds from the BBQ will be going towards the team donations
  • Consider donating to Team Casey at www.terryfox.ca/teamcasey
  • Most importantly….Bring your smile!

Even if you don’t want to play, please come out and watch some ball and have some dinner….we would love to see you!

Play ball!

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Online registration for fall swimming lessons begin 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18.

By Staff

September 8th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

The City of Burlington will open online registration for fall swimming lessons and aquatic leadership programs beginning 9 a.m. on Saturday, Sept. 18.

Programs will be viewable online at Burlington.ca/recreation on Friday, Sept. 10.

A Burlington resident doing a well executed crawl.

To register on Sept. 18, go to liveandplay.burlington.ca. There is no in-person registration.

Aquatic leadership programs are those that can lead a person to becoming a lifeguard:

• Airway Management
• Bronze Cross, Medallion and Star
• Swim Instructor
• National Lifeguard Certification

All City programs will continue to follow public health guidance, including physical distancing, capacity limits and wearing masks or face coverings. All swimming lessons are low ratio to ensure physical distancing. Caregiver support is required in the water for participants enrolled in Parent and Tot levels up to and including Swimmer 3.

Individuals participating in an in-person program will be required to fill out the mandatory health screening form at Burlington.ca/screening before each session.

• Individuals who have questions or require assistance can email liveandplay@burlington.ca or call 905-335-7738 between 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on weekends.

• Recreation fee assistance funding is available to resident individuals or families who need help to pay for City of Burlington recreation programs. For more information or to apply, visit burlington.ca/feeassistance. You can also leave a confidential voicemail message at 905-335-7738, ext. 8501 and staff will return your call to assist you.

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Frank, Yeti, Yako and BetSafe - Top 4 Best Online Casinos in Canada

By Karina Rybay

September 3rd, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Playing casino games is a great form of entertainment. Not only do you stand the chance of winning fantastic prizes, but you can also have fun playing the various games that are popular online. Canada is home to some top online casinos, like www.pinkcasino.com/en-ca/.

Pink Casino is an excellent newcomer to the Canadian online casinos market. LeoVegas is the owner and operator of this casino, which was established in 2020. Apart from Pink Casino, there are many other fantastic online casinos. Here is a short overview of the top four.

There are a number of quality on-line casino gambling locutions Check them out.

Frank Casino

Frank Casino has been online since 2014 and is available on your desktop or mobile device. You can play a wide variety of casino games from top developers. There’s also a sportsbook for you to place bets on your favorite sporting types. Apart from these, you also have the option of playing in the live casino with interactive dealers. Frank Casino offers a variety of bonuses and promotions to add to the fun.

Yeti Casino
Established in 2017, Yeti Casino offers a massive portfolio of fun casino games. You’ll find the best gaming developers on the list of game providers. Yeti Casino is available in English and French, and you can get support in both these languages. You can also play on both your desktop or mobile device.

Yako Casino

Yako Casinos offers near-perfect integration across various platforms. You can switch from desktop to mobile seamlessly. The casino also offers an extensive portfolio of popular games from big names in the igaming world. The site is secure, and the casino has third-party safety testing certificates, indicating that the casino is fair. Customer support is available in live chat or email format and you also have the option of contacting the casino via its hotline.

Betsafe Casino

Betsafe Casino is a well-known brand among online casinos. With a track record for safety and security since 2006, Betsafe offers excellent games along with a sportsbook. Betsafe also provides incredibly high withdrawal limits of up to $50,000 per day, which you can make on any one of a long list of payment methods. Customer support is available in a variety of languages, however, French isn’t on the list.

You can have fun playing with any of these top online casinos. Each has a unique offering in terms of website design and feel. These online casinos also offer fun bonuses and promotions for loyal players, adding to the entertainment value. If you’re looking for a new hobby, give online casinos a try.

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Scouts Canada had zero transmissions of covid19 cases; continue to run a safe program

By Max Bowder: Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

August 20th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

With students heading back to school in the fall,  parents are also looking for extra curricular activities their children can take part in.

Parents are  searching for programs that offer social connection, a sense of normalcy and fun in an environment that puts safety first.

Scouts Canada which is a non-profit youth service organization that helps children of all ages get in touch with nature, have great adventures, learn outdoor skills and care for the environment as well as be good and helpful members of their community.

“Scouts Canada is a youth serving organization, each section … is designed for the age group kids get to choose what interests them and then help lead their own adventures,” Andrea McLoughlin, customer service.

Getting Scouters outdoors where they understand nature and lean to care for the environment.

The organization has operated for close to 115 years and  currently has 50,000 youth participating all around Canada supported by 12,000 volunteers.

Scouts Canada did not shut down during pandemic with the exception of putting a short hiatus during emergency breaks and continued to operate while in the pandemic although needing to scale back in person activities, put mandates in place and have virtual programs.

Scouts Canada has had great success in its programs with no reported transmissions of covid-19 cases.

They have ensured the health and safety of the scouting community by implementing a 5-stage reopening plan which provides members and families with clear easy to follow guidelines to ensure safe in-person adventures.

Some provinces are even in Stage Five, which effectively lifts internal restrictions for all Scouting activities while deferring to all municipal and provincial public health restrictions.

Some of the guidelines includes indoor gatherings up to 25 people and outdoor gatherings up to 50 people, cohorts (Patrols) of a maximum 8 youth, and overnight camping allowed in cohorts only, with tents or shelters preferred, Face coverings and physical distancing are required.

Orienteering – learning to use a compass and know where they are in the woods and the direction they need to go – a great Scouting experience.

“Our mission really is creating well rounded youth who are active members of the community, who care about the environment, who have faith and life skills … who can take on any adventure and be prepared for it,” said youth program specialist Siobhan Ward.

Registration for January to December 2022 Scouting opens on September 1 for existing members, with registration for new members starting September 15th. New members who join before 2022 will benefit from free participation in Scouting for the remainder of 2021.

Executives of Scouts Canada worked fast to go in different direction when covid slowed them down in March but when members turned to virtual meetings, they came up with new strategies which they say came organically despite not meeting in person for almost a full year and ran incredible programing.

Scouts Canada also sponsors the Program No One Left Behind which subsidizes costs for families experiencing hard ship.

“Providing a safe environment for young people in Canada to connect with their peers and get outdoors is our number one priority this fall,” said Executive Commissioner & CEO, Andrew Price.

Chopping wood, learning to light a camp fire and how to put it out properly. Before they do that the marshmallows get roasted.

The virtual programs still give children the experience of scouts Canada even from their houses by giving kids exercises and explore their local communities.

Scouts Canada is looking for volunteers to help fill a number of rewarding roles including running Section meetings, as well as positions focusing on finance, administration, teaching first aid and outdoor skills, leadership, communications, fundraising or property management.

Adults of all ages can sign up at https://www.scouts.ca/volunteer, Scouts.ca/Join

Max Bowder is a second year journalism student at Sheridan College.  He is part of a team with the Gazette on the Local Journalism Initiative funded by the federal government.  Before enrolling at Sheridan Max volunteered in a community in Argentina  where he worked with young people.  He is a Burlington resident who helps out on the family farm in Milton.

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PES (Pro Evolution Soccer) Franchise replaced with Free-to-Play eFootball

By Dink Delorme

August 17th, 2021

BURLINGTON, ON

 

Fans religiously waiting for a new iteration of the famed PES franchise will not see a PES 22.

The 26 years of football and competing with the FIFA franchise is over.

Konami shut down the PES and created a new game. The silver lining is that the new game eFootball will replace PES in the fall – it will be free-to-play. What will be free for the fans on start is still unknown, and so are the possible upgrades and items you can buy with in-game purchases.

Major change in the way a brand is being marketed – free to everyone.

Will Konami Just Change the Name of the Game?
Huge Japanese game developer was synonymous with “real” football, while fans of the PES franchise mocked FIFA.

Konami developed a strong brand from the football game and sold a ton of merchandise and millions of PES games. Knowing that Konami produces hundreds of video slots, it’s weird they didn’t make the PES slot game.

The title and monetization are not the only things changed for the new eFootball game. The upcoming football game will be the first for Konami on Unreal Engine 4. So far, they have developed PES on Fox Engine, which they created for the Metal Gear Solid game franchise.

The most significant change in game play will come on a rebuild one-on-one system named Motion Matching, where all players will have unique reactions and some of their signature moves.

What More We Know so Far
The Unreal Engine-powered eFootball will be a free game available for most systems, including PS5, PS4, Xbox Series x, Xbox Series S, Xbox One and PC. In addition, the game will supposedly have cross-platform play, and after the release, there will be eSports tournaments.

In the game trailer, we saw Lionel Messi speaking about his passion for football. After that, Konami brought more big names to the game and used motion capturing on former Barcelona and Spain national team star Andres Iniesta. Gerard Pique is another player showcased in the trailer.

PES had problems with licencing clubs and players throughout its illustrious past, and for eFootball, we know there will be Manchester United, Barcelona, Arsenal, Bayern and Juventus. The Italian club will be exclusively in eFootball and will not appear in Electronic Arts FIFA. Another two Seria A clubs will be solely on eFootball: Napoli and Roma.

There is no information about other clubs and leagues, which leads us to monetization.

What Will Players Get in a Free-to-Play Game?
All biggest licenced clubs will be available at launch to the players. However, some speculate eFootball will come out as a barebone game, and you will have to pay for additional game modes, like career and others.

The game will probably have a battle pass system that offers rewards. For example, match Pass will enable new items or unlocking certain things in-game. In addition, there will be an option to buy the items without finishing challenges.

In the eFootball official reveal trailer, we saw little game play from the match. Still, plenty of close-ups focused on facial expression and natural player movement in various attacking and defending situations.

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