On January 31, 1997 the Great Blue Heron Casino first opened its doors to the public and has continued to develop into one of the premier casino destinations in Ontario.
The casino started as a vision of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island First Nation. Their goal was to provide an economic development plan to foster opportunity and advancement for the First Nation people, which turned into a reality through an agreement with Casinos Austria International and its local partners, the Steiner Group and Sonco Gaming Inc, who developed and operate the casino on their behalf.
When the casino first opened its doors in 1997 the gaming opportunities consisted of only 40 table games with $10 betting limits and a 650-seat bingo hall, both operating with restricted hours. Through a subsequent agreement with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation, the casino was beautifully remodelled throughout 1999, and in May of 2000 added 450 slot machines and discontinued its bingo operation. Since then the casino has continued to grow, adding more variety and games to the facility. These changes have taken the Great Blue Heron Casino, from only 245 employees into one of the largest employers in Durham Region. Currently the casino employs over 1,000 staff, including 85 from the First Nation. Today the Great Blue Heron Casino offers customers 60 table games with $100 maximum betting limits and 535 slot machines.